Cartier Tank Guichet
Parisian Jeweller, Cartier, is known to have made some of the most captivating watches by integrating fascinating shapes within cases, challenging the usual status quo of classical round watches. One of Cartier’s most iconic collections is the Tank which was originally designed by Louis-Joseph Cartier, the grandson of Louis-François Cartier, in 1917. The inspiration behind such a bold design is thought to have come from the Renault FT-17 tank, according to various sources the initial prototype was donated to General John Pershing the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during WWI. The visionary, Louis Cartier, was able to ensure that Cartier’s were somewhat instantly recognisable through a consistent design code in the form of the railway style minute track, roman numerals, blue steel Breguet hands and the cabochon-cut sapphire crown.
The birth of the Tank à Guichets
The Tank à Guichets was originally introduced in 1928 and undoubtedly inspired by the Tank Louis Cartier. The case mimics that of the Tank Louis Cartier although a sheet of brushed platinum covers the majority of the dial. The two small Guichets (French for Windows) are used to tell the time, the upper window is used for the jumping hours and the lower scale is used for the minutes. The early Tank Guichets are thought to be exceptionally rare. The reference was largely nonexistent in Cartier’s catalogue up until 1996, whereby Cartier released a total of six Tank à Guichets split across three platinum and three yellow gold examples, they are easily distinguishable due to the unique positioning of the crown at 12 o’clock. In rather quick succession, Cartier reintroduced a platinum limited edition of 150 examples for their 150th Anniversary in 1997, the cabochon-cut crown is now placed at 3 o’clock.
This example of the Tank à Guichet was originally introduced in 1997 and is limited to 150 examples. The platinum case measures 27.5 mm. x 40 mm and sports the traditional cabochon-cut crown at 3 o’clock. This particular reference does not form part of the CPCP collection but it is one of the references that marked the brand’s 150th anniversary. Most examples of the 150th anniversary feature a ruby cabochon in the crown. The Tank à Guichet does not feature an open case back on any of its variants. The platinum case back is signed Cartier Paris, 1847-1997, Mécanique followed by the four traditional hallmarks and Made in France.
The Tank Guichet is powered by a manual wound 9752 MC, based on a Piaget ébauche, more specifically the 430P. The movement is revered for its thinness measuring just 2.1mm in height and features a respectable power reserve of roughly 40 hours.
Model: Tank à Guichets, 2817
Movement: 9752 MC
Case Diameter: 27mm x 40mm
Box & Papers: Watch Only