Saturday, March 21, 2020

Social Distance and Lingering Wishes

So we're in Official Day 2 of social distance/ self isolation.  As mentioned, it's a good time to think about the stuff that you want to do when we all get the all clear.

Right up there on the list is to see my friends who I missed / will miss this year owing to the cancelations of watch related travel.  But Wendy surprised me with this wonderful "rainy day" reading -
And in reading, I got to the topic of Cartier, and thought I'd take the opportunity to have a virtual visit with my friend Rod.  And Rod was kind enough to forward some images of what I often think of as "the one that got away".
Courtesy of Rod
This is the Cartier Tank Basculante.

Back around the turn of the century, Cartier came out with two watches that, for whatever reason, never quite caught on with the public at large.  The Tank Basculante and the Roadster.  The Roadster came in around the time I was working at Tourneau.  And that watch was catnip.  At that time I sold that, and the Pasha like they were pre-owned Panerais.  Didn't need to really even sell, just take the credit card and bring the receipt to the customer.  In hindsight, I guess it was pretty polarizing as it was not in the traditional Cartier wheelhouse.  Moreover, while it seemed massively innovative (being able to swap from bracelet to leather strap with just your fingers), if I am not mistaken that was something that Michele watches was already available. 

Just prior to that time, the Basculante hit the 
scene -
Courtesy of Rod
This was a departure.  It was not the traditional Cartier designs found.  It was also cool because of the way that the case could be flipped to cover the watch face much in the same way as the Reverso and the (now consigned to the dustbin of horological history) Favre Leuba.
Courtesy of Rod
Hand to God, I don't know why this one didn't catch on and remain in the collection.  And curious to relate, I am not on the speed dial list for Cartier's product development team, so they are not exactly hotly pursuing my idea of re-issuing this one again ; )
Courtesy of Rod
Long story short, I will need to keep scouring the pre-owned, pre-loved sources.

For now, stay home, stay safe, and enjoy your watches!  

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