Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph 2396 White gold - Full set
CARTIER TORTUE MONOPOUSSOIR 2396
White Gold | Rosette guilloché dial | White folding buckle
What’s in a nickname? Cartier (1847) was coined ‘King of Jewellers, Jewellers of Kings’ by no one less than King Edward VII of Great Britain. He ordered 27 tiaras for his coronation in 1902 from the Parisian Maison, whom he equipped with a royal warrant in 1904 – the year the house created its first wristwatch for men (the pilot watch Santos-Dumont).
But while turning its eye to watches, Cartier’s royal appellation reveals how it was known for its jewelry – and above all: its elegant design. Vintage wristwatches designed by Cartier – such as the Santos, the Tank and later on the Crash – are strongly identified by their graceful aesthetic. While being equally true for the Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir, designed in 1928 and taking its inspiration from the first ever Tortue that was crafted in 1912 by Louis Cartier, Cartier merged style with mechanical performance.
Early models – recognized for their Tonneau-shape, resembling a turtle (tortue) – featured a movement from a joint partnership between Cartier and Edmond Jaeger (Jaeger-LeCoultre). The timepiece stood out as a classic chronograph, with two subdials and a single push-piece. Its importance for the Cartier archive speaks from the fact that the brand has chosen the Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir as one of the first mechanical models to be added to the renowned Collection Privée Cartier Paris (CPCP) in the 1990s.
The CPCP-collection had to re-establish Cartier as a manufacture of haute horlogerie timepieces, being primarily known at the time for its quartz-based watches. Its production – mainly dedicated to the men’s market – ran only a brief period of time (1998-2008) in very limited numbers.
The Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir has been launched in 1998 in this very spirit. It soon became a reference point in modern watchmaking as its caliber 045MC – a true work of art, both technically and visually – was produced by THA Èbauche, the historic collaborative movement manufacture, founded in 1996, consisting of three of the biggest names in independent watchmaking: Vianney Halter, Denis Flageollet (founder of De Bethune) and François-Paul Journe.
This manual-winding, 18K white gold medium-sized timepiece was produced in a limited number of circa 200 pieces. Elegance and a vintage feel are combined in the rosette guilloché patterned dial design, blued steel Breguet style hands and an inky blue round minute track.
The outer chemin de fer (railway track) indicates minutes and seconds in a case of 43 x 34mm and 10-mm thickness, with comfortable wear because of the slight curve of the caseback. This manual chronograph with operating single pusher (one push to start, two to stop, three to reset) comes on a grey epsom leather strap with matching 18K white gold folding buckle.
The Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir 2396, also known as monopusher, houses a mechanical handwound chronograph movement – calibre 045MC – with a lever escapement and clever clutch system, guaranteeing a serene hand gliding across the dial, suppressing the ‘jolt’ (skipping of the hand at the beginning of a translation movement) thanks the double swivel pen.
This transmission of motion of the second wheel of the base movement to the chronograph’s central wheel, as well as the stunningly workshop-crafted parts, is visible through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback. The traditionally bushed and circular-grained bottomplate, at the heart of movement, is in perfect harmony with the intertwined double C cipher of Cartier engraved on the bridges.
The 22-jewel manual-winding movement has a power reserve of 40 hours (chrono off) or 34 hours (chrono on), with a balance beating at 21,600 A/h. Overall, the 045MC caliber is a great work of art with strong design heritage and has only been used for the various Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir models, the Tank Monopoussoir and the De Bethune Monopoussoir.
This rare Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir is in perfect as-new condition and has excellent mechanical functionality. It comes as a full set, original papers, manual, white gold folding buckle and with the original signature red Cartier CPCP box.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment.
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|White Rosette guilloché
|34mm X 43mm
|Grey grained epsom