36 – 38mm
Cartier Tank Américaine XL
The Collection Privée Cartier Paris represents the fusion of iconic timeless designs such as the Crash, Tank, Cintrée paired with highly respected mechanical movements usually commissioned for Cartier. This 18-carat yellow gold Tank Américaine XL forms part of this golden era.
The modest Parisian roots of Cartier date back to 1847, founded by Louis-François Cartier, amidst a turbulent French Revolution. Despite being predominantly known as an Haute Jewellery brand, Cartier’s rich history is also intertwined within the horological landscape. The origins of the ‘first’ wristwatch can be traced back to Brazilian pioneer aviator, Alberto Santos-Dumont who is thought to have complained about the inefficiencies of pocket watches, in turn, his friend Louis Cartier took on the task of creating a wrist-watch. Up until then, most wristwatches consisted of a hybrid mechanism to transform a pocket watch into a wristwatch. As a result, the Santos was the first wristwatch made by Cartier and is also believed to be one of the very first wristwatches made circa 1904.
Despite boasting a rich horological history, many assume that Cartier Watches are purely design-oriented which is not entirely accurate. The highly respected Collection Privé Cartier Paris (CPCP) was originally launched in 1998. The principle behind the CPCP was to unearth some of Cartier’s most successful designs and fuse them which highly respected movements, usually made by third parties such as Piaget, Jaeger-Le Coultre, Frédéric Piguet, THA ébauches, and others. Interestingly, THA ébauches, represented one of the most fascinating movement manufacturers at the time, founded by François Paul Journe, Denis Flageollet and Vianney Halter in 1996. In an interview conducted by our friend Arthur Touchout, Flageollet highlighted the following:
At the time the heads of product did not have extensive knowledge of their heritage. We gave them the idea to remake the chrono-monopoussoir Tortue.
A rather unique way of distinguishing the CPCP collection from the others is the “Cartier Paris” inscription, the only reference that does not follow this is the Tank Cintrée. The Collection Privé Cartier Pris (CPCP) represents some of Cartier’s finest watches made to date, the collection was produced from 1998 till 2008 and remains highly sought after, due to the relatively low production numbers.
This 18-carat yellow gold Tank Américaine XL draws inspiration from the Tank Cintrée, with a slightly more masculine presence. It remains interesting to note that Cartier essentially created a completely new reference for the Tank Américaine, originally launched in 1989 with a quartz movement. Eventually in 1993 Cartier introduced this model with the highly respected mechanical movement 430 MC. This relatively young, but already iconic, reference made its way into the CPCP in 1998 with the first 30 examples believed to have been made in platinum.
The case measures 43mm x 25mm, despite the elongated lugs, surprisingly the comfort of this particular reference is achieved in the unique curved silhouette of the case. This results in the case hugging the wrist with particular comfort helped by the use of the traditional Cartier folding clasp. The different facets of the case feature alternating polishing techniques result in more emphasis being placed on the dial.
The dial is signed “Cartier Paris” and features the classic central rose motif silvered guilloché which radiates into a traditional guilloché when observed from the periphery of the dial. The Roman numerals are stamped directly onto the 18-carat gold dial. The hour marker VII is signed Cartier, a common trait found in the CPCP collection. The use of blue steel hands accentuates the overall legibility of the highly well-executed dial.
This yellow gold Cartier Tank Américaine is powered by the Calibre 430MC, which is based on the Piaget 430P. The 131 part manual wound movement features a 40-hour power reserve and 18 jewels.
Model: Tank Américaine XL
Movement: 430 MC
Case Diameter: 43mm x 25mm
Box & Papers: Original Warranty and box.