Fashion

Cartier Is Bringing Back One of Its Rarest Tanks

Cartier Is Bringing Back One of Its Rarest Tanks


Since introducing its instant-classic Tank in 1917, Cartier has released countless iterations of the watch. There is the long elegant Cintrée, the digital Guichet, the case-flipping Basculante, and the tilted Asymétrique. All of these have pockets of admirers. But few Tanks have the heart of Cartier loyalists like the Chinoise, defined by the muscular horizontal bars at the case’s top and bottom. The Tank Chinoise first appeared in 1922 but hasn’t been produced since 2004, making it one of the rarest models. Today, Cartier announced it is bringing the watch back among a handful of other new pieces. The bounty of new releases comes on the first day of Watches & Wonders, the preeminent watch tradeshow where a majority of brands announce their slate of new releases for the year.

Unlike the Cloche or Asymetrique, the Chinoise doesn’t have a particularly strange shape, but a Tank’s source of inspiration never disappoints. While the original Tank took after, you guessed it, tanks, the Chinoise pulls from something a little different. The horizontal bars at the top and bottom of the case, down to their slight protuberance, are meant to mimic the porticos of Chinese temples.

Cartier didn’t just dust off the old Chinoise designs and call it a day, though. The standout of the two new versions comes with a skeletonized dial to show off the movement underneath. Floating just above is a pattern made to mimic the design of traditional Chinese windows. It’s all the flair of modern watchmaking tucked into a century-old design. The other Chinoise model is just old-fashioned great: the dial is intact and encased in gold, rose gold, and platinum.

It all comes as part of Cartier’s Prive program, which resurrects new models annually. We’ve seen the bell-shaped Cloche, Asymetrique, and Tonneau return to boutiques recently under this umbrella. Now, the Chinoise is getting bathed in the Prive spotlight on its 100th anniversary.

There’s a lot more up Cartier’s sleeve this year, though. Let’s check out the rest of the house’s new releases.

Tank up on tanks



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