36 – 38mm
Cartier Tank Asymétrique
Parisian Jeweller, Cartier, is known to have made some of the most captivating watches by integrating fascinating shapes within cases, challenging the usual status quo of classical round watches. An era of particular importance for Cartier watches was that of 1930-1940. A reference that encapsulates that era would undoubtedly be the Asymétrique, which resembled a tilted rectangle along with a diamond. Initially, referred to as the Parallélogramme or Losange the Asymétrique did not form part of the tank collection at the time of its launch. Certain collectors argue that the collection always lay in the purview of the Tank collection, more specifically the Tank Oblique. Despite the unusual design, in practice the watch is user-friendly, a 30-degree adjustment is all that is required, essentially being the perfect companion for driving.
The quartz crisis essentially forced manufacturers to adopt the battery-powered revolution, as a result, many brands completely sidelined mechanical watches often bidding adieu to the entire craft. A prime example of this would be the Zenith El Primero, had it not been for Charles Vermont, the entire development of chronographs would have been lost.
Consumer preferences had also shifted many preferring highly accurate cheap quartz watches. Household names such as Cartier were equally impacted and shifted a majority of their production towards Quartz movements. The turning point came towards the end of the last decade of the 20th Century, the Parisian Maison, attempted to venture back into mechanical wristwatches with the launch of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris.
Instead of reinventing the wheel Cartier, dove deep into their rich heritage and brought back some of the most innovative designs. The entire CPCP collection houses high-quality manually wound movements. Since Cartier no longer possessed the expertise, the prestigious brand outsourced most of their movements for the CPCP era, manufactures such as Piaget, Jaeger-Le Coultre and THA (a movement manufacture Vianney Halter, Denis Flageollet, and François-Paul Journe) all played a role in the CPCP era. The movements were mostly finished by Cartier and feature the interlaced “double C” pattern. Interestingly, the program came to a halt in 2008, partly to due difficulties with external suppliers as well as the economic crisis.
The launch of the Cartier Paris Collection Privée in 1998 marked an opportunity to bring back this marvel. Eight years after the launch of the CPCP collection Cartier finally brought back the Asymétrique, a run of 150 pieces in yellow gold, along with two unique examples in platinum according to Cartier’s archives. The numbered edition paid tribute to the original design right down the pomme hands and flatened crowned.
The case size measures 26.10mm x 31mm making it significantly larger than its predecessors and ultimately making it more suited for a modern wrist. The rose motif found on the center of the dial just beneath the pinion of the hands is found across the CPCP collection. The rose motif wanes into traditional guilloché along the periphery of the dial. The typography found on this particular reference is rather captivating, the unique minute track features oddly spaced markers, the five-minute markers are ever slightly darker and thicker. The use of the elongated pomme hands permits the user to be able to tell time with ease and accuracy.
The Tank Asymétrique is powered by a manual wound 9770 MC, an Ébouche based on a Jaeger-LeCoultre form movement.
Model: Tank à Asymétrique, 2842
Movement: 437 MC
Case Diameter: 27mm x 31mm
Box & Papers: Full Set, Cartier Box signed and papers