Cartier CPCP Tank Louis in PT
Where exquisite design meets considered watchmaking, great things happen. This is perhaps no more evident than Cartier’s 1998 Paris Collection Privee (CPCP) era. The collection aimed to resurrect greats from their past like the Cintrée, Santos, Tortue, and Tank à Vis with masterful mechanical movements. It is often forgotten that their most enduring design of time, the Louis Cartier Tank, was also visited in the collection. This is purely as it was released in such small quantities between platinum and yellow gold on slow drip for the series’ ten year run. Happily, the secondary market is today offering us the opportunity to study this emblematic watch from the golden era of watchmaking’s most stylish maison.
Crucially, Cartier stuck to the historic proportions of the Tank Louis, 33.5×25.5mm. You wouldn’t re-draw the Mona Lisa a little bigger. In case you don’t know, the original 1917 Tank was inspired by Renault FT-17 Tanks Louis Cartier saw on the Western Front in the first World War. Its design has lasted very successfully for over a century, and enduring appeal matched by almost no other watch. General John J. Pershing, Gary Cooper, Jackie Kennedy, Andy Warhol, Steve McQueen, Muhammad Ali, Kanye, Rami Malek, Michelle Obama (I could go on) and countless others since have since been known to enjoy a Tank, cementing its reputation as a discreet piece of art with exceptional style and history.
It is estimated that the PT Tank Louis was produced in fewer than 150 examples over the collection’s entire production. Early Tank Louis of CPCP were executed without the central rosette guilloché we see on this latter example. The pattern is a hallmark of the series and a beautiful haute-watchmaking touchpoint. This dial is executed in solid gold and housed in platinum. The movement goes by Cartier calibre 021 and is an ultra-thin Frédéric Piguet ébauche finished by hand. The signature sapphire cabochon crown here is matched to the blued baton handset. Discreet and considered in every detail, this particular era of Tank Louis really is Cartier at their best.
This example has a perfect dial so far as I can discern. Its case shows only the lightest signs of daily wear, clearly a careful and loving owner. It comes with its CPCP box but without papers from a private collector who goes by @dial_log on Instagram out of Sweden.
Find this CPCP Tank Louis here on Chrono24 for 36200 USD.