|Year of production (circa)||
18k Yellow gold
Original gold folding clasp
Cartier service papers 2022
Cartier Basculante Ref. 2391
What an absolute stunner!
In 1933 Cartier expanded the Tank line with the introduction of the Basculante. Thereby retaining the rectangular shape of the watch, which was engineered to be able to turn the body of the watch completely over to conceal and protect. Much like Cartier’s partner Jaeger LeCoultre’s Reverso, the Basculante was intended for sports and other situations where the wearer needed to protect the watch’s glass. However, unlike the JLC Reverso that turned on its horizontal axis, the Basculante was flipped vertically through 360 degrees (if so desired), which gave the watch another useful application.
This specific Bacsculante from 1992 is a special one as it is executed in 18k yellow gold, and was part of the first unlimited series of the Basculante. It measures 37×23 and features a manual movement. To make it even nice, it comes with 2022 Cartier service papers including an original Cartier leather strap and clasp.
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Cartier was founded by Louis-Francois Cartier in Paris in 1847. As number 59 on the Forbes most valuable brands list, it is safe to say that Cartier is a household name in the world of jewelry and watches.
Don’t be fooled by the glitter and glamour of the brand though. There is serious watchmaking heritage present here. Think, for instance, of the introduction of the men’s wristwatch. Up until the early 20th century, wristwatches were for women only. But then in 1904, the Brazilian dandy pilot Santos Dumont asked Louis Cartier for a more convenient solution to replace his cumbersome pocket watch. Cartier designed the Santos, the world’s first ever wristwatch for men. Who knows, we may have been Amsterdam Pocket Watch Company today, without Cartier’s massive influence on fashion!
Cartier is primarily known for its classic designs. Another famous example is the Tank. Inspired by a Renault tank from the WWI era, the rectangular case resembles the footprint of those early threaded vehicles. Like the Santos, its design has hardly changed in over a century.
The recipe is clear: white dials, heat-blued hands, stark black Roman numerals and a sapphire cabochon in the crown. We try not to be too liberal with the term iconic, but it surely applies here! Countless variations in case shapes, sizes, movement types and materials have been made. From the Ronde to the Pasha and from the Baignoire to the Ceinture. A fun detail is the signature below six o’ clock. “Swiss” indicates that these are Swiss made watches. But some come with a “Paris” designation, signaling those examples were sold in Cartier’s flagship store in Paris, Place Vendôme. A particularly desirable and collectible feature.
Cartier remained a family business until 1964. Today, it is part of the Richemont group, like IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Panerai, among many others. The classical designs remain a favorite among collectors and fashionistas alike.
If it is a timeless watch you are after, Cartier could just be perfect for you. Most of its designs are based on themes over a century old. And they have looked fresh and relevant ever since. We are confident they will remain so for a long, long time to come!
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