Cartier Tank Américaine 1734 - 150th Swiss Confederation - Salmon dial
CARTIER TANK AMERICAINE 1734 150th SWISS CONFEDERATION LMTD EDITION
Platinum | Salmon dial
The Tank needs no introduction. But with a heritage that is as compelling as its design, which attracted a top-notch clientele worldwide, it would be a loss not to dive into the brilliant patrimony of one of the most elegant players on the pitch, Cartier.
The Parisian Maison was founded in 1847 by jeweller Louis-Francois Cartier. But true horological history was written in 1917 when the Tank was introduced during the Great War, created by the powerful vision from Louis Cartier, the grandson of the brand’s founder.
Cartier wasn’t much enchanted by the Art Nouveau movement raging at the time in Paris and choose a bold and minimalistic approach, harmonizing form and function. Word goes the Tank was inspired by the armoured vehicles debuting in the First World War, the French military’s Renault tanks (considered the first ‘modern tank’, subsequently used during World War II and inspiring many tank designs thereafter).
The iconic timepiece features four dashing lines with two parallel shafts, with the brancards holistically referring to the tracks of the tank, the square case to its main housing and the chemin de fer minute track hinting towards the caterpillar tank tracks. Cartier presented the prototype of its signature watch to General John Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe, consolidating modern style and history yet to be written.
The Tank was immediately favoured by high society figures like Jackie Kennedy and Andy Warhol among many others. Having been on the scene for over a century it can be easily stated that the Tank is one of the most eternal designs ever made, with Cartier underlining the timepiece’s astonishing versability with over 30 Tank creations.
The Tank Américaine was launched in 1989 – first in a yellow gold edition, but overall known for its creation in precious metals, such as white gold and platinum versions – for the American market in response to the growing demand of timepieces with more masculine dimensions, hence bigger size cases, in the late 80s, early 90s. It took its inspiration from the idiosyncratic Tank Cintrée, a piece from the Cartier archives as it was first introduced in 1921, with its elongated curved, rectangular case. Further embroidering on the rugged tendency, the Tank Américaine was the first curved Tank watch designed with a water-resistant case.
In 1998 Cartier introduced a rare, limited edition piece of the Tank Américaine, honouring the 150th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation (founded as a federal state on September 12th, 1848) – and therewith giving a respectful nod to the Swiss and their importance to the world of haute horlogerie (the same year the sought-after Collection Privée Cartier Paris, CPCP, was launched).
This special edition Tank Américaine was released in yellow gold (50 pieces, silver dial) and platinum (30 pieces, salmon dial), characterized by the Swiss flag decoration at the dial’s heart.
This Cartier Tank Américaine ‘150th Swiss Confederation Limited Edition’ reference 1734 in platinum is one of the 30 pieces ever crafted (in 1998). It features a flat case back, secured with 8 screws, with a polished, curved front and brushed edges enhanced by elongated lugs – marking a fine yet bold presence on the wrist, measuring 37 mm by 27 mm.
This rare edition is distinguished by its splendid guilloché salmon dial with printed Roman numerals in contrasting black, sword-shaped blue steel hands, a ‘secret signature’ (Cartier) on the ‘V’ of the ‘VII’-hour marker and a chapter ring with a curved top and bottom, inspired by its vintage precedent, the Tank Cintrée. This subtle rail track draws the attention to the dial’s heart, commemorating the Swiss: its national flag is portrayed in a stunning repetitive pattern, as decorative centre piece.
The Swiss cross, which finds its origins in 1840, is depicted in a ton sur ton motive, instead of the remarkable white on red, resulting in a strong yet harmonious design aesthetic. The Swiss cross finds its origin in the coat of arms of the old canton Schwyz, one of the three founding members of the Swiss confederation – attributed to the Swiss by the German emperor in the once Holy Roman Empire of German Nation because of the Schwyz soldier’s stance on the battlefield.
The timepiece further spots the faceted blue signature crystal of Cartier (the cabochon) on the platinum octagonal winding crown, sapphire crystal and a perfectly integrated strap, held in between its curved parallel brancards, with solid 18k white gold Cartier folding buckle.
The case back spots a stylish ‘150 Years Swiss Confederation, A Limited Edition for Switzerland’ inscription with a matching coat of arms and Swiss cross engraving – as well as a Platine and Mecanique inscription, together with the Cartier signature, N X/30-1998 and the reference number. The dial, platinum case and movement are all signed.
This limited-edition Cartier Tank Américaine is powered by the workshop-crafted mechanical 430MC caliber by Piaget. It is the same movement used for the sought after Collection Privée Cartier Paris. The ultra-thin manual winding mechanism has a thickness of 2,1 mm, contains 18 jewels and 125 parts. Its balance vibrates at 21,600 times per hour and the watch power reserve when fully winded is 40 hours. The watch is water-resistant to 30 meters/100 feet.
This unique Cartier Tank Américaine ‘150th Swiss Confederation Limited Edition’ reference 1734 is in mint condition, with light hints of wear and has excellent functionality. It comes with its original Cartier folding buckle.
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|37 mm x 27 mm