Cartier Tank Obus CPCP

Louis Cartier launched in 1923 the Tank Obus. Unlike many other Tank models, the Obus is square and not rectangular, making it unique in the world of Cartier. Like the Tank Normale and Tank Louis Cartier is also the Obus inspired by warfare. Translated from French into English, obus means shell, referring to the mortars used in WWI. Cartier used this shape as inspiration for the charismatic lugs on the Tank Obus. To fit the theme, the sapphire cabochon in the crown is cut and polished in a similar shape.

Unlike many of its siblings, was the Tank Obus never made in large numbers, as it remained a model that was usually made on request. This makes it all the more desirable, especially the version that we have here. This Tank Obus was launched in 1998 as part of the now legendary ‘Collection Privée Cartier Paris’ also known as CPCP. Unlike many other models of this collection, it is not a limited edition but limited production, and rumor has it that only a very limited number of them were made.

What makes this version so desirable is the dial which shows an intricate pattern of guilloche patterns, which create a three-dimensional effect. This is further emphasized by the placement of the railroad track, Roman numerals, and Arabic minute indicators, which are all pad printed in black lacquer. The ‘secret’ Cartier signature is present at seven o’clock. The unique character of this particular model is also present in the way that Cartier signed it, with the brand name under which is placed ‘Paris’. This means that it was part of the ‘Collection Privée Cartier Paris,’ and looks much nicer than the more common version that is signed with ‘Mecanique’ at the lower part of the dial.

This Tank Obus is powered by Cartier caliber 437 MC, which is, in fact, a Piaget caliber 430P in disguise. This manual wound movement is one of the slimmest in the world, with a thickness of only 2.1mm. Cartier applied its own finishing to this movement, by engraving the famous intertwined C on the chamfered bridges of the caliber, which can all be admired through the sapphire insert in the gold caseback. The strap in blue cordovan leather was hand-made for the previous owner, perfectly matching the blued Breguet hands. The famous gold folding clasp, designed by Louis Cartier in collaboration with Edmond Jaeger (of Jaeger-LeCoultre) and first launched in 1909, keeps it securely in place. A new custom-made strap is offered with the purchase of this watch, ensuring that one of the rarest Cartier Tank watches is a perfect fit for its new owner.

reference: W1527551
case number: 667XXXXX
year of production: 1998
case diameter: 27mm x 27mm
movement: manual wind, Cartier caliber 437 MC
box and papers: no