14 October 2023


By In Cartier, General, Hype Market

A dual time watch is, as its name itself suggests, a model that is able to show two different time indications, coming from two different time zones. Being so desirable and extremely useful for travelers, the dual time complication was one of the first ever to be developed and several ways to accomplish this purpose have been created, such as coming with two dials, each with its own hour and minute hands. In particular, the dual time watches developed by Cartier are quite simple from the mechanical perspective since they have two independent dials that can be regulated separately, but without doubt they are some of the most interesting dual time watches ever produced, especially considering the selected case shape: the Tank Cintrée.

The Tank Cintrée

When the Maison designed the first and legendary Cartier Tank in 1917, they succeeded in creating an icon in its own right and a shape able to be evolved. Indeed, the Tank Cintrée variation, released in 1921, quickly gained broad interest and its own space within Cartier collection due to its clean lines, its ability to ergonomically fit the wrist (thanks to a curved rectangular shape) and its aesthetics perfectly coherent with the art deco style so popular at the time. Many famous actors and fashion icons, such as Steve McQueen, Jackie Kennedy and Ralph Lauren, decided to wear it on the wrist for such reasons. 

Steve McQueen with his Cartier Tank Cintrée on the wrist
Steve McQueen and his Tank Cintrée on the wrist – Photo courtesy of A collected Man
Cartier Tank Cintrée from 1926
Cartier Tank Cintrée from 1926 – phptp courtesy of Cartier

More than a century later, the Tank Cintrée, worn by both men and women, is still one of the most sought-after models presented by Cartier and the Dual Time version, first released in the ‘90s, gained huge recognition among enthusiasts and collectors, despite not being the only watch produced by Cartier showing this function. The main peculiarity of Cartier’s dual time pieces is that, differently from most other brands, their cases are featured with two entirely independent mechanical movements, creating an immediately recognizable dial split in two sections and using two faceted crowns with the iconic cabochon sapphires to regulate the time. The use of two completely independent movements allows this watch to be exceptionally well suited to track time zones with half-hour or 45-minute differences, while many other travel watches are only able to cover hourly differences.

At auction: two incredible travellers’ watches

On the next October 21st and 22nd 2023, Monaco Legend Group will auction two magnificent examples of Tank Cintrèe dual time produced by Cartier that it is worth to analyze.
The first lot, n° 222, is a wonderful, incredibly well preserved and very limited Tank Cintrèe ref. W1519951, dating to the ‘90s, with a long sided and curved back case in platinum, a classic leather strap and, on the band, the two faceted crowns with sapphire cabochons for the two manual movements. The elegant, silvered dial is, as usual, bipartite: the upper part has the classic Tank configuration with large, black painted full Roman numerals while the lower one, which features the “Paris” indication, has black painted markers and Roman quarters, both featuring the iconic blue Cartier hands.
Although the different looks of the two dials may, at first, look like a curious choice, it can actually help to visually delineate the purpose of each dial, making far easier to distinguish with a single glance which is set to home time and which to travel time.The expected price, which ranges from 30.000€ to 60.000€, is perfectly reasonable due to the excellent conditions of this piece and its unfading charm.

Cartier Tank Cintrèe ref. W1519951
Cartier Tank Cintrée ref. W1519951 – photo courtesy of Monaco Legend Group

The second lot, n° 277, is even more remarkable that the previous one. Indeed, it is a Tank Cintrèe ref. 2767 limited to 100 pieces and included within the Privèe Collection in 2005, that features a case and wristwatch in white gold and black dial, with the usual bipartition, as well as the two independent mechanical movements and their respective cabochon sapphire. The upper dial, is characterized by the twelve Roman numerals while the other shows just 3-6-9-12 Roman numerals. Unusually for the model, this timepiece is supplied with a gorgeous solid white-gold bracelet, perfectly matching the white gold case. These peculiar features, unsurprisingly, enhanced the beauty of this Tank Cintrèe, the gold bracelet giving it a slightly different and more modern look and the dark dial a unique fascination which, for sure, will attract many enthusiasts at the upcoming auction. 
The expected price ranges between 60.000€ and 120.000€, considering the exclusivity of this watch it’s not impossible to imagine some surprises during the auction.

Cartier Tank Cintrèe ref. 2767
Cartier Tank Cintrée ref. 2767 – Photo courtesy of Monaco Legend Group
Cartier Tank Cintrée dual time

The dimension of the Cintrèes, 25×45 mm for the model in platinum, and 23×43 for the one in white gold, makes it suitable for both men and women and extremely versatile. Born as a suit watch, this timepiece, whose charm remains undiminished, is perfect for every elegant occasion, being faithful to its art deco origins yet so contemporary. Its exclusivity is something to hold into consideration as well. Indeed, the dual time complication is one of the most interesting ones and the solution created by Cartier to feature it created some beautiful pieces, both from a technical and aesthetic point of view.
The two watches that will be auctioned are not only extremely well preserved, but very rare as well and able to convey a special charm and elegance.

Written by Aurora Patti

Born in 1997, working in corporate but with a neverending love for the world of watchmaking.