Introducing: The Cartier Privé Tank Normale Collection
Every year, Cartier adds a model to the Privé collection. This time around, we have the addition of the Tank Normale. No less than seven versions of “the other” Tank shape are being introduced, only in gold and platinum. These lofty Tanks, then, are anything but “normale.” Let’s have a look at these 2023 Cartier Privé releases.
I say “that other” Cartier Tank, but in reality, I should probably say “the original” Tank. This is a notion worth exploring in a little more detail.
A tiny nugget of Cartier Tank Normale history
I do not want to regurgitate the entire genesis story of the Cartier Tank here. I am sure you know how the first Tank was released in 1917 and inspired by a Renault FT-17 tank. You are here to see what’s new, so let me keep the history lesson short and sweet.
It is good to be aware, though, that those very first Cartier Tanks featured flat brancards and flat sides. In other words, the Tank Normale case shape. The Tank Louis Cartier, with its rounded brancards, followed later. In this sense, this is the OG Cartier Tank. I think it really shows if you look at these new watches. They have a distinct old-world charm to them.
A new Tank Normale in gold and one in platinum
For this year’s edition of Watches and Wonders, Cartier releases new versions of the classical Tank Normale shape. There is a trio of Tank Normale Skeleton models as well as four models with closed dials. Without further ado, let’s get into those first.
The new Tank Normale comes in a 32.6 × 25.7 × 6.85mm case in your choice of 18K yellow gold or 950 platinum. The gold version features a sapphire cabochon, while the platinum version dons a ruby in the crown. These dials look familiar with the signature Cartier layout, but upon further inspection, we see a vertically brushed silver finish. Both watches house the hand-winding cal. 070, a hand-wound movement with a 25,200vph frequency and a 38-hour power reserve. The sapphire crystal is domed and faceted along its sides.
The gold “base” model comes on a brown alligator strap for €33,300, while the platinum version comes on a black one for €37,400. Cartier is limiting both of these models to 200 numbered pieces. However, if you want a little more heft from your new Tank Normale, you can opt for a version with a full yellow gold or platinum bracelet. Both are refined brick-style bracelets, so they will surely have a lovely drape around the wrist. The bracelet models are limited to 100 numbered pieces each and will have a price of €49,800 for gold or €57,500 for platinum.
Tank Normale Skeleton
Next, we have three versions with skeletonized dials. These variants are slightly larger at 35.2 × 27.8 × 8.15mm. The Cartier in-house caliber 9628 MC is skeletonized and has a 24-hour hand. It is still a two-hander; but the hour-hand runs at half the pace, circling the dial just once per day.
The dial is cut out to feature the shape of the Sun and the crescent Moon. It also shows a gradient from clear to black, indicating day and night. Arabic numerals sit around the perimeter of the dial, with midnight at the bottom and noon at the top.
There are three versions of the Tank Normale Skeleton. First in the lineup is one yellow gold on a brown alligator strap with a second green alligator strap for €76,500. The second version is executed in platinum on a gray alligator strap with an additional burgundy strap for €86,000. Lastly, we have a platinum version with 42 brilliant-cut diamonds set in the case. It comes with both a blue and dark blue alligator strap for €115,000. The non-diamond-set versions are limited to 50 numbered pieces, while the “frozen” model is limited to 20 numbered pieces.
Closing thoughts on the Tank Normale Privé collection
It is always good to see Cartier flexing its watchmaking muscle. These new Tank Normale models certainly qualify in that sense. The closed-dial platinum version on the brick bracelet in particular speaks to me. I prefer the clean look over the skeletonized versions.
What do you think of these new Cartier releases? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
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