Cartier has well and truly delivered for this year’s Watches & Wonders 2023. Every year, the maison unveils a rare watch from its archives to join its Privé collection, a limited series of numbered timepieces for collectors, and this year, they’ve unveiled possibly the most legendary Cartier of them all presented in three new iterations.
The Tank was first designed by Louis Cartier in 1917, inspired by newspaper photographs of the Renault FT-17 tanks used on the war front during the First World War. The watch was officially released in 1919. Over a century later, the Cartier Tank is possibly one of the most recognisable watch designs ever.
Keeping most of the design features of the original, The Tank Normale Privé edition comes with the same proportions of bevelled sapphire crystal as the original. Available in a yellow gold version with a brown alligator strap and in platinum on a black alligator strap, there’s also the option of a yellow gold or platinum bracelet with satin and polished finish.
It doesn’t stop there. Cartier has also added a skeleton movement for the Tank Normale, accompanied by a 24-hour complication marked by a sun and crescent moon, also skeletonised. There’s also a quirky detail here, the minute hand turns around the dial in one hour and the hour hand goes around in 24 hours instead of 12 hours.
As a result, the daytime hours appear on the upper part of the dial and the evening hours are on the lower, symbolising the transition from day to night. Pretty cool, right?
The skeletonised versions come in yellow gold on a brown and green alligator strap with a blue sapphire cabochon on the winding crown and in platinum on a burgundy and grey alligator strap with a ruby cabochon.
But for those looking for a bit more bling, there’s also a skeletonised version set with brilliant-cut diamonds in a limited edition of 20 numbered pieces. Pick from the alligator strap which comes in two shades of blue with a brilliant-cut diamond on the winding crown.