Pre-Owned Spotlight: Daan Surrounds Himself With A Trio Of Cartier CPCP Beauties
This article is completely based on homesickness. Once again, I’m spending the summer with my in-laws in Spain. Of course, I had to make a watch selection for the trip, and I left my Cartier Santos back in Amsterdam. I think it was the right thing to do as it’s very warm here in Spain, and without any quick adjustment, it would’ve just stayed in my watch roll all the time. However, I do think of it every once in a while, so when I saw that a Pre-Owned Spotlight article was coming up, I knew what the theme would be. And why not make a little more special by just focusing on Cartier CPCP watches?
By the way, it’s not like I’m not happy with what’s on my wrist instead of the Santos. I’ve been wearing my Rolex Explorer ref. 114270 non-stop, and to be honest, I couldn’t have wished for a better watch. This watch just does it all — the sea, lakes, pools, playgrounds…you name it! But sometimes it’s nice to just doze off and dream about some exceptional Cartier masterpieces that’ll probably never make it into my collection. The first one is a watch I tried on about a month ago when I met Farid, owner and founder of WatchWorks Haarlem.
Cartier Tank Obus CPCP
He had some 18mm leather straps on sale, and I was looking for a few new options for my Breguet Classique. That’s why I visited him in his peculiar and beautiful office inside a renovated jail. Before he showed me the straps, we talked about watches a bit. I brought a few of my watches as well, and Farid also showed me a few watches he currently has for sale. One of them was this Cartier Tank Obus from the Collection Privée Cartier Paris. I had just seen another Tank Obus at a recent get-together, but this one was special.
Its 27mm × 27mm yellow gold case fits my wrist perfectly, but the guilloché dial is the thing that truly captivated me. When you search for the Tank Obus online, you can definitely find some examples, but many don’t have a guilloché finish on the dial. If they do, the word “Mecanique” is often printed at 6 o’clock. This one is so clean, and it looks great on that dark blue leather strap. It matches perfectly with the blue cabochon in the crown. And its shape, in turn, matches very well with those characteristic mortar-shell lugs from which the Tank Obus (“shell” in French) gets its name. This watch is for sale here for €14,950.
Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir CPCP
The Cartier Tortue might not be as famous as the brand’s Tank and the Santos, but for me, it really is a hidden gem. Its curvaceous white gold case perfectly follows the shape of the wrist…or so I’ve heard. You see, I’ve never actually tried one on. The closest I have come is by trying on a Girard-Perregaux Richeville at the same get-together where I saw that Tank Obus. Yes, the GP Richeville is also a nice watch, but it doesn’t stand a chance against the much more sophisticated Cartier Tortue, especially when you compare the chronograph versions to each other.
The Richeville has such big pushers on its fairly small case. You’re much better off with the monopusher version of the Tortue, especially this white gold one that’s for sale through UK-based dealer Subdial right now. Like the Tank Obus, this watch has a beautiful guilloché pattern on the dial, but instead of black printing, it uses blue. It reminds me of the blue used to paint on Dutch Delftware. It gives the watch a more friendly appearance, and it matches so well with the heated blue hands. I also love the studs at each hour and the big Roman numeral “XII” up top. This watch is for sale here for £42,995.
Cartier Tank à Guichets 150th Anniversary CPCP
This final one is a bit of an oddball. It’s a Cartier Tank as well, but it looks more like a stealth bomber. It’s made out of platinum, so it probably also feels very substantial on the wrist. And you can’t really speak of a dial here. Instead, it has two windows through which you can read the jumping hour and the revolving minute ring. It almost looks like a one-eyed smiley face. This Tank à Guichets comes on a magnificent platinum bracelet that reminds me of actual caterpillar tracks. And, as always on Cartier’s platinum watches, it has a ruby in the crown.
There’s no branding whatsoever on the front of the watch; as I said, it’s stealthy. But I like the fact that it’s instantly recognizable as a watch that’s made and designed by Cartier. I’m also intrigued by jumping-hour movements lately. The SpaceOne also has one, and I can already see myself waiting for the disc to jump at each hour. I might have to opt for the SpaceOne, though, because at US$180,000, this Cartier Tank à Guichets will probably remain a dream. It’s located in Hong Kong and sold by 1stDibs.
What would be your dream Cartier?
Again, this is probably just a daydreaming exercise, but it’s a nice one, right? The classic Tank Louis Cartier is also one of my favorites, by the way. While perhaps not as flamboyant as the watches above, it is so sophisticated and so very classy. I also really like the fully square version of the Tank Chinoise. It’s a bit bold, but I very much enjoy the overlaying design of the horizontal beams. All right, that’s enough daydreaming for me. What would be your ideal Cartier watch? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured image: WatchWorks Haarlem