Cartier Tank Chinoise - Collection Privée - Ref. 2685 - Platinum - Full set



The power of the Tank. A century-old design that could not be more coveted and contemporary if it tried. This was that design, the revolutionary creation, that spark of genius which would coin the ‘timeless elegance’ of Cartier watchmaking. 

The Cartier Tank is, to put it simply, Number 1. Instantly recognisable, profusely desired, the Tank is the embodiment of iconic. It was not the first timepiece to be ideated by the brilliant mind of Louis Cartier but it was the design that would trigger a fundamental step forward in Cartier watchmaking. The Tank would first appear in 1917, an original, innovative design inspired by an original and innovative new piece of machinery. It was the Renault FT-17 tank that would catch Louis Cartier’s eye and imagination. He would take the design elements of this new machine, viewed from above, and apply them to the realm of watch design. The FT-17’s tracks would inspire the Cartier Tank’s brancards and the novel fully rotating turret, Cartier’s dial. One tank bestowed with the power to cut time short and the other, with the power to keep precious time elegantly ticking. Cartier’s Tank, in its multiple forms, has faithfully honoured its duty for over a hundred years and shows absolutely no sign of retiring any time soon.

The Tank Chinoise was unveiled in 1922, during the debut of the golden age in Cartier watchmaking. Part of Cartier’s genius lay in its ability to introduce slight modifications to its main designs, creating wonderfully unique and new pieces that remained unmistakably identifiable as Cartier. It is said that the form of the Tank Chinoise takes inspiration from the structure of Chinese temple porticos and is therefore set apart from other versions of the Tank by the horizontal lines of the case that visibly overlap the vertical case lines. 

Many Cartier timepieces were designed by Louis Cartier in tribute to the places he travelled to but East and South Asia have both played a beautifully inextricable role in the Cartier story. Louis, Pierre and Jacques, the three grandsons of Cartier’s founder and responsible for Cartier's international breakthrough, would explore these regions and their heritage avidly. The rapport the brothers would establish with this part of the world would be profound. Its riches, both in terms of design and materials, were absorbed to the very core of Cartier. 

The watch 

Clean-cut, dashing lines - with substance. The Tank Chinoise is an exquisite rarity within the Cartier catalogue, rarely produced and only ever in small quantities. The Tank Chinoise presented here is from the highly collectable and desirable Collection Privée Cartier Paris (1998-2008), which was Cartier’s opportunity to return to creating haute horlogerie at the same time as revisiting some of the most exemplary designs from its archive. It was released in very limited numbers and in two colour variations, platinum and rose gold. This year, 2022, Cartier introduced several new Tank Chinoise models for the first time since 2008. The new models are made in three different metals, three limited editions open-worked dials were also introduced. 

In contrast to the recently introduced Chinoise models, which feature a more rectangular case shape, this CPCP Tank Chinoise in platinum measures 28.7mm x 28.2mm, with a height of 8mm and is therefore slightly larger than the 1922 original but remains entirely faithful in terms of form. The horizontal bars that frame the case candidly envelop the case’s brancards, shifting the focus onto the Tank’s square aspect. As is trademark of Cartier Tanks, the lugs create the setting for the strap to flow effortlessly and seamlessly from the case. The form of the case of the Tank Chinoise is strong, ruggedly smart and blissfully contrasted by the gracefully shimmering silver rosette guilloché dial. A hard shell to protect a sacred beauty.

The dial is completed with Cartier’s trademark Roman numerals printed in black on the outer perimeter, which are traced on their internal side by unconnected printed black minute markers. Cartier Paris sits, perfectly centered, just below the 12 and above a small rose encapsulating the central point of the dial, which is completed with blue steel Breguet hands and a beaded, blue cabochon crown. The dial, platinum case and white gold folding buckle that accompanies this watch are all signed. As with all CPCP models, every detail is perfect. 

It is not only the dial that stuns but turn the case over and a circular insert of sapphire glass reveals the internal beauty that powers this platinum Tank Chinoise.


The CPCP Tank Chinoise is powered by the manual, traditionally crafted movement, the 437MC caliber by Piaget. It is 2.1mm thick, contains 18 jewels and has 125 parts. Its balance vibrates at 21,600 times per hour and the watch power reserve, when fully wound, is 40 hours. With an elegant, high-finish touch, the movement’s bridges are exquisitely engraved with the ‘double C’ cipher of Cartier. 

How it wears

A perfect square, perfect for all occasions. This Tank Chinoise, so wonderfully unique in its form, would be just as at ease placed with jeans and a soft wool sweater as it would with a beautifully tailored suit. Its shape and solid assembly allow it to sit very comfortably and neatly on the wrist, and the case height means it will glide easily under clothing. 

The CPCP Tank Chinoise is, in every sense, a real jewel of a watch.

The set & condition

This rare piece from the CPCP collection is in good condition and comes with its original Cartier folding buckle, and original unworn blue alligator Cartier strap. The original box, original warranty papers, service papers from 2022, and a matching CPCP manual are also included. The watch is paired with a custom Mr Watchley grey alligator strap. In short, an amazing full set Cartier Tank Chinoise in very good condition.  

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 2685
Movement Manual Wound
Calibre 437MC
Dial Silver Rosette guilloché
Size (Case) 28,7mm X 28,2mm
Material (Case) Platinum
Bracelet Custom Mr Watchley Grey Alligator Strap
Glass Sapphire
Condition Good
Year 2008
Papers Yes
Box Yes
Warranty 2 years

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