French watch and jewelry king Cartier always makes a splash with its annual releases, and this year the brand has already surprised many with the return of its 1980s classic, the Pasha, and its updated, revitalized Santos collection. Yet for all the attention these new models have received, much discussion of the maison’s most notable releases this year have homed in on the Tank Asymétrique, a new limited-edition series released as the latest update to Cartier’s Privé Collection.
For those unfamiliar, the Privé Collection is Cartier’s showcase for some of its less popular, but nonetheless quite interesting historical designs — a collection directly catering to the few but fervent Cartier collectors of the world. It was launched in 2015 with the Crash, and then updated in 2017 and 2019 with the Cintrée and Tonneau, respectively; this year, the collection features the aforementioned Tank Asymétrique, a watch that takes its inspiration from a 1936 model of the same name (pictured above).
The new Tank Asymétrique series includes six different models: three solid-dial models and three skeletonized versions each limited to 100 editions. The solid-dial models are available in platinum, rose gold, or yellow gold, each with a sunburst dial, while the skeletonized version is available in rose gold, platinum, or diamond-encrusted platinum. Each uses the same general design, featuring a 47.15 x 26.2 mm parallelogram-shaped case, complete with unique triple lugs, corresponding leather strap, and 30-degree rotated dial. As is common on all modern Cartier watches, each one features a stylized crown tipped with either the brand’s flagship sapphire, rarer ruby, or highly uncommon diamond cabochon.
Taking a closer look at the solid-dial models, which feature either a silver or black sunburst dial depending on the case material, we discover a highly distinguished Cartier design — foremost in the use of Arabic numerals and tick marks for alternating hour positions, differing from most Cartier watches’ typical use of Roman numerals. The platinum version of the solid-dial Tank Asymétrique takes this design a step further by using applied markers while the two gold versions opt for printed markers (most Cartier models exclusively use printed markers). However, the watch still maintains the French jeweler’s traditional use of sword hands, as found on the standard Tank and many other models, giving the watch a distinctly “Cartier” look despite its unconventional design. These models each use the manual winding Caliber 1917 MC, with a 38-hour power reserve, an in-house movement used often for the brand’s slimmer watches.
Moving to the skeletonized versions of the Tank Asymétrique, we find a similar dial design, though obviously distinguished and elevated in the more luxurious skeleton scheme. These models again use Arabic numerals and tick marks at the hour positions — but here only two numerals, at the 12 and o’clock positions, and in an enlarged font. All of the hour markers are printed with blue paint to match either the blue cabochon on the crown or the blue alligator leather strap. Toward the center of the dial is an inner, tilted parallelogram shape from which the hour indices radiate, providing a good complement to the congruent case. Powering these models and oriented diagonally to fit the shape of the case is the manually-wound Caliber 9623 MC, storing a 48-hour reserve and visible from both sides courtesy of a sapphire caseback.
The solid-dial yellow- and rose-gold models will retail for $26,400, while the platinum version will be marked at $30,100. The yellow-gold skeletonized version will be sold for $61,000, while the non-gem-set platinum model will retail for $70,000; pricing for the diamond-encrusted version is on request. The limited edition Privé Collection Tank Asymétrique is expected become available later this year through Cartier boutiques worldwide.
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