Cartier Basculante Méchanique

Cartier Basculante Méchanique

Why We Love It

There are many ways to create a watch other than a round case. There are cushioned cases, rectangles, tanks, and cases which defy geometric description.

And then there is the Tank Basculante.

This classic Cartier breaks expectation entirely with its articulating hinged design. With its elegant guilloché dial and crisp Roman numerals, this Tank Basculante is unique among Cartier's tank models. Ours dates from the last decade of production, and shows only light signs of wear.

A Cartier Tank is a necessity for those who want to add class, style and distinction to their horological arsenal, and for the collector who desires something a little out of the ordinary, the Basculante is a sure fit.  

The Story

Cartier introduced the Tank in 1917, with a run of six pieces--given, or so the legend goes, to American General Joseph Pershing and his staff. The design of the Tank was inspired by the Renault FT-17 tanks Cartier glimpsed on the battlefield of the Great War. Cartier took the look of the Renault tank's treads and applied it to the lugs, which were integrated via brancardsinto the case itself. That first run of six pieces increased to thirty-three by 1920, and by the end of the 20th century, that number stood well in the thousands. In sheer volume alone, the Tank--in all its various models--is Cartier's largest line of watches. 

The movement of the Basculante was sourced from Fréderique Piguet. First conceived in 1926, at 2.1mm the Calibre 610 is thinner even than the Piaget Altipano 900P, touted as the world's thinnest mechanical watch. That's astounding even for today, and for 1926 it's a mechanical marvel. 

The Tank Basculante Mécanique was released in 1932, a year after the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. The Basculante certainly shares design similarities with the Reverso: the case in which the dial is housed pivots inside an outer case, much like the Reverso's. However, unlike the Reverso, which only uses a single track, the Basculante employs a swinging frame. When deployed, the inner case looks as though it's on a seesaw. Hence the name, which comes from the French bascule, or seesaw. 


SKU: AS03134

Stainless steel case is approximately 25mm x 38mm (excluding the crown). Calibre 610 manually-winding movement. Circa 2000's.

Overall Condition: The case is in excellent condition overall showing light signs of wear from age. Non luminous silver guilloché dial is excellent condition with painted Roman numerals. Blued steel handset. Blue cabochon sapphire crown at 12:00.

Includes signed black leather strap with steel pin buckle.

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