Cartier Tank Cintrée 100th Anniversary
A limited-edition tribute to the genius of Louis Cartier's original masterpiece: the 1921 Tank Cintrée.
2021 marked 100 years since that very first cautiously curved and oh so elegantly elongated Cartier timepiece perfectly eclipsed all previous tradition associated with the art of watch design. Defiantly revolutionary in the most subtle and refined of fashions, throughout its one hundred (and going strong) year history, the Cintrée has never lost that ability to captivate and mesmerise. It is perhaps for this reason that for the Cintrée's centenary, Cartier opted to go right back to the ground-breaking origins of the timepiece and create a watch that is an almost exact replica of that intensely sophisticated yet highly revolutionary 1921 creation. Limited to just 150 pieces, this timepiece of celebration lives and breathes the spirit of the 1921 original, while its evidently soft gloss of modern watchmaking gives it that fantastic feel of a future 21st century heirloom.
At 46.3mm in length and 6.4mm in height, the dimensions of the 1921 original were fractionally lengthened and lowered for this anniversary piece, creating an even sleeker, closer to the wrist curve. The 1921 original measured 44.7mm in length and sat at 6.7mm in height, while the width of both the original and this anniversary piece come in at 23mm. The dimensions of this anniversary Cintrée are an exact match of the Tank Cintrée released in 2005. Yellow gold, the dominant precious metal of the vintage era, was used to craft every case of this limited-edition piece, mirroring the 1921 original. Its gliding, seemingly infinite vertical brancards have been given a superb high-polish finish, while every other surface of the case is brushed. The Cartier and limited-edition number engraved caseback is secured in place by four laterally placed screws (2 on each side of the case), differing from the 2018 Cintrée's snap-on caseback. The sapphire blue cabochon of the watch's beaded crown takes a different form to the vintage original, shaped to more of a point and again, lengthened, which combines nicely with the subtle stretch in length given to this Cintrée's case.
The dial, with its blued Breguet hands, is letter for letter, serif for serif and minute marker for minute marker, an exact visual reproduction of the 1921 original. Expansive, glossed black Roman numerals almost completely fill the space of the dial, the rather attractively prominent railway minute track expands outwards to meet them and below the 12, the dial is simply signed 'Cartier'. Its warm ivory colour and softly grained texture capture the essence of how an originally bright white dial of a 1921 Tank Cintrée could potentially look today. This distinct yet gentle colour paired with the glowing warmth of the yellow gold case make for a classically sublime match.
It was a LeCoultre manufactured calibre that made the vintage Cintrée tick and in a nice twist of fate, it is a calibre based on Jaeger-LeCoultre's calibre 849 powering this centenary timepiece. Calibre 9780 MC, which actually is JLC's calibre 849, is an ultra-thin, manually-wound movement measuring just 1.85mm in height. Its balance vibrates at a rate of 21,600 vph and it provides this Cintrée with a power reserve of 36 hours.
How it wears
Like a dream. The Tank Cintrée is simply hard to beat in terms of style/comfort ratio. The form of the case allows the watch to sit perfectly and seamlessly on the wrist, whilst projecting an extremely elegant and ordered aesthetic. The ever more subtle curve of this particular timepiece makes it the ultimate master of the Cintrée's magical quality of being both overtly visible and barely there at just the right moment or angle - this timepiece would be at absolute ease under even the most closely-fitted, buttoned shirt cuff.
The set & condition
A beautifully classic echo of Cartier's radical and game-changing watchmaking past, this historically rich and comprehensively luxurious Cintrée is brand new, unworn and comes with its complete, original set.
The trailblazing and elusive Cartier curve.
Cartier's watchmaking during the 1900s had sparked flutters of interest and curiosity. Heads had been turned as the brilliant jewellers had started to carve their own, distinct path in the market of timepieces. With the dawn of the 1920s however, Cartier's inherent feel for exemplary design would lead the brand to initiate a revolution in terms of wristwatch style. Cartier's limitless creativity and innovation in this field put the Maison in a league of its own, the Tank Cintrée being perhaps the most exemplary product of this extraordinary moment of intense imagination and creation.
The Cintrée first appeared in 1921, just two years after the very first Tank, the Tank Normale, had been launched commercially. If the Tank Normale had rocked the boat with its novel design, then the Tank Cintrée was the design that made the boat capsize. Cartier elongated the case of the Tank to the maximum and with this elongation allowed the case to rise into a very slight and graceful curve that when worn would blend effortlessly with the wrist. Viewed from the side, the case could not be more subtle; yet viewed from above, the case spectacularly eclipsed the wrist - albeit in a very streamlined and elegant manner. Exceptional and radical aesthetic design that most likely stunned Cartier's unsuspecting audience in the 1920s and remains just as captivating for their audience today.
The curve of the case on the Tank Cintrée has of course been a steadfast constant in the relatively few and highly sought-after models released over the years. Other aspects of the design such as case height, length, size and dial features, have all taken various forms creating some striking and unique pieces which have been favoured by several celebrities including Fred Astaire and Steve McQueen.
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
Calibre 9780 MC
|46,3mm x 23mm
|Original Cartier strap