Cartier debuted the Privé Collection in 2015 to bring back historic designs from their archives, in limited edition. This year, a modern version of the Tank Asymétrique debuted at Watches & Wonders.
First introduced in 1917, the Tank is one of Louis Cartier’s most important timepiece creations. Many iterations have been produced over the years, and in 1936 the first Asymétrique came out.
For 2020, six Tank Asymétrique references have been introduced — the three shown above, and three skeletonized versions. The solid dial Asymétrique watches are available in pink gold with a gray dial, yellow gold with a champagne dial, and platinum with a silver dial. The skeleton Asymétrique versions come in platinum, platinum with diamonds, and pink gold.
With its two horizontal shafts connected by two oblique ones, and its numerals off-set by 30° to the right, the new Tank Asymétrique looks very much like the version from 1917 right down to the case shape, the third lug in the center, and the locations of the hour markers.
There are, of course, some notable changes from the original design. The original 1917 Tank Asymétrique hands were open-tipped but are now sword-shaped. “Swiss” was printed above 6 o’clock but now “Swiss Made” is stamped in the corner underneath 6. The Arabic hour marker fonts and indices have been redesigned on the standard model and they are part of the movement on the skeletonized versions. The flat crown of the original has been replaced with a crown set with a sapphire cabochon for five of the references, and a crown set with a brilliant-cut diamond for the gem-set skeleton reference.
And the case sizes are larger. Referred to by Cartier as “Extra-large” models, the standard dial Tank Asymétrique measures 47.15 mm x 26.2 mm by 6.38 mm thick and the skeleton measures 47.15 mm x 26.2 mm by 7.82 mm thick.
Additionally, modern Cartier manufacture movements have been incorporated. The caliber 1917 MC drives the standard models and caliber 9623 MC powers the skeletonized Tanks. Cartier caliber 1917 MC is manually wound, beats at 3Hz, and has a power reserve of 38-hours. Caliber 9623 MC is manually wound, beats at 4Hz, and has a power reserve of 48-hours.
Each Tank Asymétrique comes with a made-to-measure strap fitted with an ardillon buckle and is available in limited edition of 100 numbered pieces.