Cartier Tortue XL 2763J - Full set & Cartier Serviced
Taking time with the Cartier Tortue. Cartier is well-known for its quite unique wristwatch shapes and unconventional sources of inspiration. The Cartier Tortue was just the third wristwatch designed by Louis Cartier, it was preceded by the Santos-Dumont and an oval shaped wristwatch which, in the 1970s, would be given the name Baignoire (the French for bath/bathtub). The Santos-Dumont was first created in 1904 but not launched commercially until 1911, while the Baignoire made its first appearance in 1912 and was closely followed in the same year by the Tortue. The Tortue was inspired by an animal that certainly knows how to take its time - the tortoise. A rather charming animal to have inspired a timepiece, both in terms of its form and character.
These early timepiece creations by Louis Cartier set the Cartier brand on its path of innovation and design distinction within the world of watchmaking. In the early twentieth century the very few wristwatches that were produced tended to all be round in form, Louis' square Santos-Dumont, oval Baignoire and tortoise-inspired Tortue show that from the very beginning Cartier would go it alone, setting the trends rather than following them. The introduction of the Tank in 1917 is hailed as a pinnacle moment within Cartier watchmaking and while there can be no detraction from the significance of the Tank, earlier designs such as the Tortue (launched a full five years before the Tank) played a fundamental role in defining exactly what it meant to be a Cartier watch.
The Tortue tended to be a model favoured by Cartier enthusiasts, those acutely aware of Cartier's heritage and for many years it was mainly produced for clients upon order. A noteworthy moment in the Tortue's history came in 1928, when the Tortue form lent itself to the creation of the first Cartier Monopoussoir. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Cartier would manufacture a variety of Tortue models that incorporated various complications. However, the maison would not forget the original time-only Tortue that represented and contributed to the trademark foundations of Cartier watchmaking - remarkable cases and elegant dials.
This is the Cartier Tortue 2763J from the highly collectable and sought-after Collection Privée Cartier Paris. The CPCP (1998-2008), saw Cartier revisit the all-round exquisiteness of its watch-making origins. After a fair time of Cartier's watchmaking being tailored to the mass, commercial market, the CPCP signalled a return to haute horlogerie for Cartier; it went back to its roots by revisiting some of its most iconic designs, and once again employing the use of precious metals and high-quality mechanical calibres. Despite the CPCP's great appeal, no piece from the collection was ever produced in great numbers therefore ensuring its exclusivity.
This CPCP Cartier Tortue closely echoes the form of the original from the early twentieth century. All aspects have however been amplified in order to suit modern tastes, Cartier describe this model as the 'Grand Modèle' and it measures 37mm x 39mm. Whilst the case on the original was relatively thin and slight, here it has been made more prominent creating perfect, strong and smooth balance throughout the piece. The entire rose gold case is polished which adds to its symmetry, uniformity and elegance. The dial is solidly and beautifully framed. As is a feature of many CPCP models, the caseback has a sapphire glass insert allowing the intricate inner workings of the watch to be viewed, the caseback is signed, engraved and held neatly in place by four small screws along the top that are perfectly mirrored by four small screws on the opposite edge. Every detail of the watch is exquisitely executed.
The dial carries all the hallmarks of a CPCP timepiece; Cartier Paris sits perfectly between the 12 and the centre of the silver dial and the central point is encapsulated by a small rose from which delicate guilloché radiates, covering the entire surface. Bold Cartier Roman numerals are printed in black on the dial and precisely follow the form of the case as does the traditional railway track minute markers placed to the inside edge of the Roman numerals. The dial is completed with a secret signature at 7 and blue steel breguet hands, keeping in line with the traditional Cartier feel of the watch. The piece is finished with a refined, faceted blue cabochon placed on an octangular crown, which contrasts with and nicely contains the free-flowing gloss of the case. The watch design strikes just the right balance, the feel of the piece is wonderfully luxurious whilst remaining calmly sophisticated.
It is the calibre 9601 MC that powers the Cartier Tortue 2763J. Derived from the 8000 MC automatic movement, the first movement crafted by JLC for Cartier, the 9601 MC contains 20 jewels and has a power reserve of 40 hours.
It is the finish of the 9601 MC, delightfully displayed through the sapphire caseback, which sets it apart. At the Cartier Manufature in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the movement undergoes intricate finishings by hand. Its steel components are decorated, its bridges are hand-chamfered and the ‘double C’ cipher of Cartier is engraved onto the bridges. From the dial to the case to the movement, every detail of the watch has been delicately attended to.
How it wears
The Cartier Tortue 2763J is an elegant and solid piece of artistry. Thanks to the structure of the caseback and distinct, expansive yet symmetrical dimensions of the case, it is very comfortable to wear. It has a very strong presence on the wrist and would make a beautiful dress watch, suited to any occasion.
The set and condition
This classic Cartier timepiece comes with its full set: original box, folding buckle, papers and manual. The watch has been fully serviced by Cartier (Unpolished) in 03/2022 with complementing Cartier Service Papers.
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
|Dial||White Rosette guilloché|
|Size (Case)||37mm X 39mm|
|Material (Case)||Pink gold|
|Bracelet||Mr Watchley Green Smooth calf strap|
|Papers||Yes + Cartier service papers 03/22|