The longer you work with watches, the more the concept of love at first sight becomes increasingly far-fetched, with the droves of shiny new concepts and designs being churned out on a regular basis. Sometimes, you will never fully fall in love with a piece; in other instances, it just takes time. Case in point: the Cartier Tank Cintrée. Cartier decided to revisit this long-dormant design, and in all honesty, the first time I laid eyes on it, it managed to slip under my radar and it took a few days for my love for it to blossom, despite the massive hoopla it generated amongst the 2018 SIHH crowd. In a sense, we should have seen this one coming, as it was hinted the year previously that the maison would be celebrating its historic designs in the near future.
The origins of the Tank Cintrée can be traced back almost a century, in 1926, during a time when slighter dimensions were favored, and this slim, curved case fit the bill. However, it wasn’t long before styles evolved, and Cartier turned its attention to the brawnier Tank and the elegant Tank Américaine — the latter a more modern take with a slightly wider case. Just over a decade since the last Tank Cintrée was spotted, Cartier decided this year to bring this watch back to life, with no less than three case iterations — yellow gold, pink gold and platinum — measuring 46.33mm by 23mm. Despite its altered dimensions, it still sits uniquely curved on the wrist and keeps true to its Cintrée roots. At 7.2mm thick, it’s thin enough to fall within vintage design aesthetics, yet hefty enough to feel modern.
Styling is restrained, to say the least. The dial is decorated with simple hour markers, with enlarged 12 and six numerals paired with the maison’s signature blue hands and sapphire cabochon on the crown. The true magic lies in the different color combinations: the yellow gold case is paired with a champagne dial; the pink gold case with a black dial; and finally, the crowd favorite — platinum case with light gray dial. There is no special finishing to the dials; again, keeping its overall style clean and discreet. All three versions come on an alligator leather strap with a gold ardillon buckle.