YEAR: 1964
CASE MATERIAL: 18k yellow gold
DIMENSIONS: 42 mm. x 23 mm.
STRAP: Black leather strap
MOVEMENT: Caliber 6’’’, manual-winding
FUNCTIONS: Time only
DIAL: Silvered dial with Roman numerals and Breguet hands
BUCKLE: 18k yellow gold Cartier buckle
PROVENANCE: Phillips Geneva Auction One, Lot 103, May 2015
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Lot Essay

The Cartier Tank Basculante, much like the Jaeger-LeCoultre, was a Thirties Child. Born in the Art-Deco era, at a time when high society folk needed a slightly more robust wristwatch to keep up with their physically-demanding lifestyle pursuits like polo.

Launched first in 1933, the Basculante is named for the French word for ‘tilting’ and is a reference to watch case’s ability to fold on itself. Unlike the Reverso, which could turn on a horizontal axis to protect the watch face, the Tank Basculante flips upside down inside a frame. And half-way through this flip, it can also be used as a table clock. Incidentally, Spécialités Horlogères SA manufactured the cases for both the Reverso and the Tank Basculante.

The present watch is from 1964 and has its movement and case signed European Watch and Clock Co. This was the name of the company Cartier founded with Edward Jaeger (of Jaeger-LeCoultre) in the early 1920s to produce movements solely for Cartier. Research suggests that very few models were made in 1960s with this more masculine size, rendering this watch a real prize for Cartier collectors.
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