Cartier Tank Asymétrique Ref. 2488 - Yellow gold - 1996



A charmingly off-kilter design, the Tank Asymétrique is a distinctly unique-looking timepiece that holds a rather unique position within the Cartier story. Originally not intended as part of the Tank family but rather as a stand-alone watch, the first version appeared in 1936 under the name "Parallelogram" and was designed with the modern driver in mind. With two hands placed on the steering wheel, by virtue of the unconventional orientation of the dial, the time could be read with effortless ease. As the piece was revisited over the course of Cartier's history, it was embraced into the Tank family and given the name Tank Asymétrique.

Since venturing into the production of timepieces for the gentleman's wrist with the Santos Dumont in 1904, Cartier's forte had always been its original take on case and dial design. This forte accelerated with the introduction of the Tank Normale in 1917, and then went full tilt during the 1920s and 1930s - the golden years of Cartier watchmaking. With the Cloche, the Tank Cintrée, the Tank Chinoise - to name just a select few - Cartier's creativity in those years was electric and unrelenting.

The Tank Asymétrique became the unexpected yet striking grand finale in that incredible run of creation and innovation. It would be the last truly distinct Tank to be launched before two considerable and transformative events for the brand transpired: the outbreak of World War II in 1939 and the passing of Louis Cartier, in 1942.

With its lighthearted and playful design, the Tank Asymétrique signalled the close of perhaps the most fabulous chapter in Cartier's watchmaking history.

The watch

A diamond on the wrist, this rare Tank Asymétrique - with reference number 2488 - is one of just 300, 18k yellow gold examples that were released in 1996. A full sixty years after the very first interpretation of the Asymétrique (or Parallelogram as it was then known) launched. This 1996 limited model closely resembles the design of the original, whilst radiating an even more elegant individuality.

Its case measures a modest, by modern standards, 24mm x 34mm. All its lines, those of both the case and dial, are slender, precise and exude an air of refinement. The tone of the gold is light and alive, there is a sparkling and fresh feel to the whole piece. The watch's silvered dial is covered in radial guilloché, while a combination of black Arabic numerals and batons mark the hours. Arabic numerals for the even numbers, giving a touch of attractive order to the offbeat form of the watch. The dial is lucid, illuminated and has just two further markings - 'Cartier' between the 11 and 1, and 'Paris' between the 7 and 5. The closed caseback is held in place by four screws, two located on each of the vertical sides of the case and across the brushed, signed caseback, following the slant of the case, various engravings can be read including 'Made in France', the piece number and '1996' - the year of this Tank Asymétrique's launch.

Blued steel sword hands pair with the sapphire blue cabochon of the beaded crown, which is located at the 2 on this wonderfully atypical and rare timepiece.


The watch is powered by the manually-wound calibre 9P2, a movement that was developed by Piaget in the 1950s. The ultra-thin movement contains 18 jewels, has a power reserve of approximately 36 hours and a frequency of 19,800 vph.

How it wears

There is something truly faultless about this Tank Asymétrique on the wrist. Its distinct, alluring yet uncomplicated form wears in the most immaculate fashion. Its strap flows flawlessly from the case, leading to an overall smooth and uniform line that glides around the wrist and throughout the whole piece. This particularly chic reinterpretation of the Asymétrique would a very unique and exquisite edge to any outfit

The set & condition

An out-of-this-world Cartier timepiece that is in very good, untouched condition and comes with its a Cartier box, Cartier strap, 2 Custom made Mr WATCHLEY straps  and Original yellow gold Cartier folding buckle. The watch is fitted with a custom Mr WATCHLEY Saffiano Coper strap

If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium

No stock kept on site

* Every watch is delivered in a Mr WATCHLEY Membrane Protection Box for a safe transportation in addition to its original set *

Reference 2488
Movement Manual
Caliber Caliber 9P2 by Piaget
Dial Silver Guilloché Paris dial 
Size (Case) 24mm x 34mm
Material (Case) Yellow gold
Bracelet Custom made Mr WATCHLEY Saffiano Copper
Glass Sapphire
Condition Very good
Year 1996
Papers  -
Box Yes
Warranty 2 years


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