The Tank Asymetrique, the Crash, and the Cloche are for the real Cartier fanatics the ultimate pieces that “la Maison’ has to offer. Sure there are a handful collectors that also dream about a re-release of the ‘Pebble’ from the 70′, but I doubt if that stunning, by Cartier London designed watch, will ever be commercialized again. However, the New Bondstreet Boutique made it happen for the Crash, so why not for the amazing Pebble watch?
A few years after the release of the Crash skeleton models, Cartier London introduced in 2018, on a very limited basis, a new version of their own original London Crash watch. Although most fanatic Cartier collectors ordered the piece immediately, the Crash is, in all its beauty, not a watch for everyone to wear. We’re talking here about a real collector’s piece and therefor Cartier London will deliver no more than 67 pieces, just like the Skeleton version. Another highly sought after timepiece is the Cloche. The last time this model was released, was in during the CPCP collection in the 90′. This model is almost as crazy, (or smart as you wish), as the Crash watch, but for most men much easier to wear. The Tank Asymetrique is a completely different chapter. This model is not as bizarre shaped as the Crash and the Cloche but is still different enough, to distinguish it from anything else on the market.
A Tank Asymetrique is very daring and quite an eye-catcher on the wrist while it is as comfortable as any other Tank. The last time Cartier released this yellow gold model is already 14 years ago. The watch was sold out pretty fast, but what remarkable is, these watches did not show up in the second-hand circuit, at least not often.
Owners seem to hold on to the model and many well-known collectors and journalists at Instagram, have an Asymetrique in their collection and believe me these guys are not all such a Cartier fanatics like yours truly. The reason why this model seems to be more popular than the previous smaller versions, lies in the fact that the case is larger and because of the good looking three lugs, that not only made the watch to look different but made it also look closer to the original 1936 model, (pictured above).
When we take a look at Cartier’s history, about 90% of their watches have Roman numerals, which can be seen as a hallmark of La Maison. The Tank Asymetrique is one of the few exceptions, as a number of models over the years, that had Arabic numerals.
Therefore I am sure that Cartier did very well, not only to launch the Tank Asymetrique in their Cartier Privé line, but also the fact that ‘La Maison’ decided to go back to that dial with Arabic numerals, like the 1936 model had, but now styled in a more modern way, with slightly elongated numerals.
Since the Tank Asymetrique, from the Collection Privé, Cartier Paris, that was only available in yellow gold, in a Limited Edition of 150 pieces, the market for exclusive watches has expanded enormously. To release this year just one model, in such a small edition would not make much sense nowadays. That’s why Cartier gives collectors the choice of different models, that are produced in a Limited Edition of just 100 pieces for each aesthetic. More choice, more numbers, but still very limited. Bear in mind that brands like Omega and Panerai call a limited edition 1000 – 2000 pieces. So when La Maison claims that the series is limited, it is really limited!
Collectors on social media talked during the announcement a lot about the differences between the new models and the last one from the CPCP collection. I am not going to discuss the differences here in this write-up since there is hardly any point in comparing the new models to the slightly smaller CPCP version, simply because that one is not available anymore and is impossible to find in the second-hand market.
What Cartier is releasing later this year, is a cool platinum version with a light grey dial and a ruby in the crown, a classic looking yellow gold model, and a very beautiful pink gold version with a black dial. Besides the fact that the case is a bit larger, the watch looks very classic, but the crown is unfortunately not typical ‘tank Asymetrique’ anymore, but more in style with all other watches in the collection; outspoken, prominent, set with a sapphire or with a ruby. However, the new models are easy to wind and that’s quite an important fact since the watch is a hand winder and is powered by the 1917MC caliber, which needs to be wind daily.
If this collection of three is not stunning enough, there are, and it becomes almost a tradition, three Skeleton models. Like the Crash- and Santos-Dumont skeleton models, the watchmakers dit not skeletonize an existing caliber,
but designed and created the new 9623MC movement, from scratch, to fit the shape of the Asymetrique model. The integration of this specially developed caliber within that bizarrely shaped watchcase fulfills the mission of the Cartier Privé collection: to apply technology and put it in service of design.
This year Cartier will add one of the most attractive models to their Collection Privé, but since there are only 100 pieces of each model, don’t expect to find them in every boutique or AD, requesting a preview is certainly recommended. The watches will officially be available from December 2020.
But believe it or not, some of Cartier’s top clients have already shown their new and stunning Tank Asymetrique on Instagram.
Prices: $26,400 for the yellow gold and pink gold model and $30,000 for the platinum version with the ruby in the crown.