French jewelry and watch king Cartier consistently makes a splash with its annual releases, and this season the brand has surprised many with the return of its own 1980s classic, the Pasha, along with its updated, revitalized Santos collection. Yet for all the attention these new models have obtained, much discussion of the maison’s most notable releases this season have homed in on the Tank Asymétrique, a new limited-edition series introduced as the newest update to Cartier’s Privé Collection.
For those unfamiliar, the Privé Collection is Cartier’s showcase for a number of its less popular, but nonetheless very interesting historical layouts — a collection catering to the couple but fervent Cartier watches lovers of earth. It had been launched in 2015 using the Crash, then upgraded in 2017 and 2019 with all the Cintrée and Tonneau, respectively; this season, the collection includes the above Tank Asymétrique, a watch which takes its inspiration from a 1936 version of the same name (pictured above).
The newest Tank Asymétrique series comprises six distinct versions: three solid-dial versions and three skeletonized variants each limited to 100 variations. The solid-dial models can be found in platinum, rose gold, or yellow gold, each with a sunburst dial, while the skeletonized version is available in rose gold, platinum, or diamond-encrusted platinum. Each uses the same overall design, featuring a 47.15 x 26.2 mm parallelogram-shaped case, complete with exceptional triple lugs, corresponding leather strap, and 30-degree rotated dial. As is common on all modern Cartier watches, each one includes a stylized crown tipped with the brand’s flagship sapphire, rarer ruby, or exceptionally uncommon diamond cabochon.
Taking a closer look at the solid-dial models, which feature either a black or silver sunburst dial based upon the situation material, we discover a highly distinguished Cartier layout — leading in the use of Arabic numerals and tick marks for alternating hour rankings, differing from many Cartier watches’ typical use of Roman numerals. The platinum version of the solid-dial Tank Asymétrique takes this design a step further by using implemented markers whereas the two golden versions elect for printed markers (many Cartier models exclusively use printed markers). However, the watch still maintains the French jeweler’s traditional usage of sword hands, as found on the normal Tank and many other models, giving the watch a clearly”Cartier” look despite its unconventional design. These models each use the manual winding Caliber 1917 MC, with a 38-hour power book, an in-house movement utilized regularly for the new Vintage watches.
Moving into the skeletonized variations of the Tank Asymétrique, we find a similar dial layout, though obviously distinguished and elevated in the more lavish skeleton scheme. These versions again use Arabic numerals and tick marks at the hour rankings — but here just two numerals, in the 12 and o’clock places, and within an enlarged font. All the hour mark are printed with blue paint to match the blue cabochon on the crown or the blue alligator leather strap. Toward the middle of the dial is an inner, tilted parallelogram form where the hour indices radiate, supplying a good complement to the congruent case. Powering these models and oriented diagonally to match the form of this circumstance is your manually-wound Caliber 9623 MC, storing a 48-hour reserve and visible from both sides courtesy of a sapphire caseback.