In a few short years since its inception, Cartier has turned its Privé collection into somewhat of an industry sensation. Drawing from its archives, the annual introduction of newly reinvigorated styles has become vaguely akin to the “In Memoriam” segment at the Oscars, albeit a lot less grim. Nonetheless, there’s a similar sense of, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that!” each time the Maison inducts a neo-vintage piece into the exclusive Privé club. And while this annual event is a decidedly happy occasion, fans might still mutter “gone too soon” as the Privé pieces are typically in extremely short supply. Still, they’re worth celebrating, as the Privé lineup is arguably the best evidence that when it comes to catalog reissues, Cartier is in a league of its own.
For 2023, Cartier has unleashed a barrage of timepieces including fully seven new Tank Normale references belonging to the Privé collection. With its iconic dial and a case defined by flattened planes, the Tank Normale is truly the original Cartier Tank. Since the case provides so much visual identity, it can be difficult to alter the Normale without veering too close to the other myriad Tank variants. The four references composing the base of the new Normales (see what we did there?) derive most of their flair via classic straps, premium materials including 18k yellow gold and 950 platinum, and bracelets that look as comfy as they are stylish. The three new Skeleton versions, however, are an entirely different story.
Here, Cartier employed its manual 9628 MC caliber movement beneath a dial sporting an abstract sun and moon cutout, around which a 24-hour scale serves as a reminder that (technically) this is a GMT watch. Sure enough, the blue hands spin on 60-minute and 24-hour intervals, passing through the lightened “day” half of the dial before plunging through the bottom “night” half. Cartier plans to make just 50 of the gold/brown alligator (€76,500) and platinum/gray alligator (€86,000) versions while a diamond-set platinum/blue alligator reference also with a ruby cabochon is one-of-twenty at €115,000 a pop.
If that’s too much heat for your wrist, the base Tank Normales for this year’s Privé collection start at €33,300 for the gold/brown alligator, set with a blue sapphire cabochon. From there — and also limited to just 200 pieces worldwide — the platinum/black alligator piece checks in at €37,400. The real show-stoppers however are the bracelet versions which feature a 7-row geometric bracelet that looks sharp enough to cut (hopefully, not literally). Each of these (€49,800 for gold and €57,500 for platinum) is limited to just 100 pieces so if you’re lucky enough to see one in the wild, buy a lottery ticket. The dials here have a pleasuring vertical brush and sit above the 070 hand-wound caliber.
With each year seeing new additions to the Privé collection, it’s hard not to get excitedly nostalgic about the greatness in Cartier’s back catalog. With the Tank Normale in 2023, the brand keeps playing the hits. The Cartier Privé Tank Normales are available on a limited basis with prices starting at €33,300. Visit the brand’s website for more info.
Model: Tank Normale
Dimensions: 32.6 × 25.7 × 6.85mm (base model), 35.2 × 27.8 × 8.15mm (skeleton)
Case Material: 18kt yellow gold, 950 platinum
Movement: 070 caliber hand-wound (base model), 9628 MC caliber hand-wound 24 hour, minutes (skeleton)
Strap/Bracelet: black, brown, gray, blue alligator leather. 7-row gold or platinum bracelet
Price & Availability: Availability not specified at publication. Extremely limited. Price from €33,300 to €115,000