Born in 1936, the Tank Asymétrique watch, also known at the time as the Parallélogramme or Losange is one of Cartier’s most original and certainly one of the most elegant creations. Since 2015, Cartier Privé has been releasing stunning timepieces in either limited or numbered series’. Building on the success of the Crash watch, the Tank Cintrée and the Tonneau watch, the maison is now bringing back its much loved Privé Tank Asymétrique.
In the 30s and 40s, when most watches were inspired by Art Deco, the Tank ‘Asymétrique’ Watch, with its unique shape became one of the most coveted pieces. The watch was defined by its Asymétrique (Diamond) case. Everything on the dial was shifted 30 degrees to the right including the 12 which was placed in the upper right-hand corner of the case and the 6 right opposite. Instead of Roman numerals, Arabic numerals – and only the even digits – appeared, all separated by indexes. The torsion effect was such that a specific strap needed to be developed for the watch. In addition, certain models saw the axis of symmetry in the centre of the watch replaced by a special insert. This detail, which had nothing to do with aesthetics, was unique to the watch, making it highly rare today.
2020 Cartier Privé Tank Asymétrique
The 2020 Cartier Privé Tank Asymétrique Extra-Large collection comprises six timepieces, from platinum, 18k pink gold, 18k yellow gold to skeletonised and diamond set versions. Most of the iconic features of the 1936 model are still present in the 2020 model, in particular, the original Asymétrique / diamond shape. Despite its 47.15mm x 26.2 mm case size, which screams wrist presence, the Privé Tank Asymétrique wears exceptionally well on the wrist. The lugs are slightly curved and the crown features a blue sapphire / ruby cabochon or a brilliant-cut diamond depending on the model.
The Arabic numerals and their separating indexes which are set against the grey, champagne or silver-coloured dial have been completely redesigned. They are off-set by 30° to the right just like the 1936 Tank Asymétrique watch. Overall, the style is a little more modern, yet entirely Cartier.
Powering the watch is a hand-wound manufacture movement (Calibre 1917 MC), that boasts a thickness of just 2.9mm and a power reserve of 38 hours. The skeletonised versions on the other hand are equipped with a specially designed (9623 MC) skeleton movement which appears at the centre of a bare structure, punctuated by the 12 and the 6. The integration of this specially developed calibre within an asymmetric watch fulfils the mission of the Cartier Privé collection: to apply technology to the service of design. This movement, hand-wound by the crown at 3 o’clock, boasts a thickness of 4.2mm and a 48 hour power reserve.
Each aesthetic comes in a limited edition of 100 numbered pieces and fitted with a slim made-to-measure alligator leather strap with an ardillon buckle; a rare option in Fine Watchmaking.
The 2020 Cartier Privé Tank Asymétrique Collection once again demonstrates the ability of an original design to evolve and remain relevant.