Lately we received a few questions and picture requests, about the mono poussoir watches that Cartier had in the collection. I said on purpose ‘had’, since none of the here mentioned models are available anymore. But these watches do pop up at auctions, quite regularly and it’s actually your only bet, to acquire one of those, now almost vintage chronographs.
The Tortue Mono Poussoir was one of the very first examples of fine watchmaking, in the Cartier catalogue, the model appeared in the catalogue around 1928 and it had a chronographe movement, made by the European Watch Co. Early samples like this, fetch high prices and are seldom seen in the wild. Cartier did however a really good re- issue of the model in 1998.
It was even more attractive since the case of this first re issue, was enlarged to a classic 43x35mm. For this Tortue chronographe the special 045 MC caliber was developed, by a company called THA.
THA is a company that was formed by watchmakers ‘Vianney Halter, François-Paul Journe & Denis Flageollet’. So this calibre is the work of these highly successful watchmakers.
One of the Cartier watches that never had much publicity is the Tank Mono Poussoir. It’s a watch that was originally designed by Cartier in 1928, but that in later collections never came back, until 2007, when a re issue, produced in a limited edition of just 100 pieces, was presented in pink gold and a year later in white gold. Although the dimensions of the vintage model are unknown, at least to me, I am sure that the dimensions of the case of this re-issue were enlarged to 34x42mm.
The crown of these watches is more prominent than we are used to, from Cartier. It’s a bit larger and winds very easy. One push = go, second push = stop, third push = back to twelve, it’s as easy as that. The crown is set with a pretty large sapphire and since the fact that there is only one button, to operate the watch, instead of the two + crown, like the usual chronographs have, it’s a sports watch, that matches a more formal outfit very well.
It may be pity that these Mono Poussoir watches are not available anymore at the moment, but since Cartier is spending a lot of time and effort in developping amazing new calibers in house, I bet that one day we will see a new Mono Poussoir movement, made by Cartier team in La Chaud-de-Fonds.