1970s Cartier Paris Tank Cintrée with Bracelet
The Tank Cintrée has been around since 1921, very shortly after the first 1919 Tank. It was adopted by British soldiers in the Boer War for its relatively masculine proportion and the fact that it wasn’t a pocket watch. Post war, those same credentials propelled it to be the ultimate aesthetic pairing for timeless style; it was adopted by Fred Astaire, Steve McQueen and Ralph Lauren. While pre-60s Cintrées are usually auction darlings, post 60s Cintrée usually bring to mind CPCP and 2017-onward models. Far less common are 1970s and 80s Cintrées, the former of which is exactly what we have here, and on its extremely rare matched original grains of rice bracelet no less.
In 1964, Cartier underwent a massive change following the death of Pierre Cartier. Remaining members of the family who headed Cartier in various cities decided the best course of action was to sell the business. Following, Robert Hocq and a group of investors led by Joseph Kanoui, bought the Paris, London, and New York businesses, bringing all of Cartier under one global ownership. The path was then to expand the market, which was precisely what Cartier did. This truly marks the modern era of Cartier, and this Cintrée is from the very early start of that modernity.
Its dial retains the classic restrained dual signatures of Cartier and the Paris boutique at 12. If you didn’t know, Cintrée translates literally as curve. The Cintrée case is marginally longer and slimmer than the Américaine case, but its genius is a vertical curve that hugs a wrist perfectly. This example is 18x34mm with something of a bubble-back to accommodate its thin manual calibre. The original bracelet is something you almost never see. These do not come up for sale often yet don’t command outrageous premiums contrasted against Cintrées that have come before or after. This 70s Cintrée perfectly represents the first footsteps of a modern Cartier, with style, classic design, and quality construction en masse.
This example sports a full case with light surface wear consistent with its five decade life. All hallmarks are still clearly engraved. Its dial is undamaged to my eye and all printed scripts are easily visible. The watch comes without box/papers from a well-regarded California retailer.
Find this 70s Paris Cintrée here from The Keystone for 35000 USD.