2917 Cartier CPCP Tank Louis Dual Time

It’s been at least two years since I’ve seen one of these surface in the market, but that ends today. If over the last few years anyone thought the increased interest in vintage Cartier was a fad, neo or true vintage, nothing could be further from the truth. We’ve seen Cartier and particularly the watchmaking-focused CPCP era sustain interest and value through this market like few categories have. And now I have the distinct pleasure to uncover what, alongside the Tank Monopoussoir and à Guichet, is amongst the least common and most collectible references from all CPCP: the ref. 2917 Tank Louis Dual Time. So rare is the CPCP Tank Louis Dual Time that in A Collected Man’s excellent guide to all CPCP from a few years back, it didn’t even receive a mention.

The Dual Time complication is more commonly seen in the Cintrée or À Vis case, where there’s a little more vertical real estate to work with. While the Cintrée has two separate movements with two crowns, this Tank Dual Time maintains the classic silhouette with all functions adjusted through one crown for one calibre. This is thanks to a Piaget ébauche calibre 9901 MC, where the first crown position lets you independently jump the hour hand of the lower dial, whilst the second position adjusts time on both. The CPCP-wide rosette guilloché, solid gold dial gets a double-entrance here as well, with Cartier and Paris text split between the upper and lower guilloché—which I quite like. The white gold case remains the same 29x38mm, unaltered except that each was individually numbered. I’ve been keeping track and would love to know just in case it is the highest yet, but the seller hasn’t shared.

Only one has ever gone to auction, to my knowledge, in 2018 at Phillips Hong Kong, where it flew totally under the radar for 12K USD. It’s a completely different world now with regard to CPCP, you can 10X that today. Since, there are only three private sales I’m aware of, where asked values have spanned from 30K a few years ago to 145K at the height. That’s what can happen in a market with maybe 25 examples known (a very, very rough estimate from frequency I see in the market compared to other CPCPs with known quantities and their frequency). When you’re researching these, don’t conflate the results of Tank À Vis, which many aggregators do. If you’re one of those collectors who bleed in Cartier red and are considering, yes, this one is top of current market even keeping in mind the last few years. But then it’ll be quite a while before the next opportunity; it’s all about how much you love it. For me, this is about the only CPCP reference that can stand on equal footing with a Tank Monopoussoir, leaning more on the side of rarity than complication. At a distance it is just a Tank, camouflaged as the Renault FT-17s were, unless the viewer both looks closer and really knows their Cartier. The only thing that worries me is the last line of the Chrono24 listing which reads, ‘Elegant in blood.’ I’m going to guess they were going for a ‘bleed Cartier red’ line too, but Google translate had other ideas. Amusingly sinister mistranslation. Otherwise, wow, what a watch.

This example is just back from the spa at Cartier, and looks the business. The case looks to be in excellent nick. Some very light scratches commensurate with normal wear, nothing more. Light patina in all the right places. Pretty uncommonly, it comes with all the works: box, paper, clasp, the lot. It comes from a private seller on Chrono24, so do your research as ever.