Cartier Tortue 2646 'CPCP Perpetual Calendar'Sold
Cartier Tortue 2646 'CPCP Perpetual Calendar'
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This exquisite ‘Collection Priveé’ Tortue combines one of Cartier’s most enduring and iconic designs with our favorite complication, the perpetual calendar.
At its inception in 1912, the Tortue was only the third wrist watch design made by Cartier, with the Santos-Dumont and Tonneau preceding it. Much like its older siblings, the Tortue stood out from the predominantly round watches of the time due to its tortoise-shell inspired design. Despite its long history, the Tortue has only been released in small numbers over the years and is quite a rare sight.
This 2646 is part of the illustrious Collection Priveé Cartier Paris (CPCP) and dates back to 2004. The tonneau-shaped case is executed in platinum and measures 35 x 43 mm.
The exceptional handmade dial is executed in classic Cartier style with bold painted black Roman numerals, a closed minute track at the rim, and elegant blued Breguet-style hands that match well with the iconic sapphire-tipped crown. As with all of the CPCP watches, the dial is made of 18k gold, covered with a layer that contains fine guilloché engraving and a rose motif in the center.
The dial features four sub-registers containing, starting at the top, the month indicator, the date function, a 24-hour counter, and a day function. The uppermost counter also includes a lovely sector-style leap-year indicator to round out the ingenious perpetual calendar complication.
A sapphire display caseback gives a lovely view of the automatic movement, which has been expertly finished with Cartier’s interlocking ‘C’ monogram. The watch comes with the original Collection Privee box and papers as well as a black alligator leather strap with a platinum Cartier deployant clasp.
Cartier Louis-François Cartier took over his master’s jewellery workshop in 1847. Over the years, his sons and grandsons inherited the family business and expanded the brand by opening shops in New York and London. King Edward VII of the United Kingdom granted Cartier a prestigious royal warrant in 1904, calling the brand “the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers.” Such was the renown of Cartier, that royal warrants soon rolled in from all over the world (among which, Belgium, Egypt, Greece, Siam, Spain, Portugal, and Russia). While Cartier is known primarily for its jewellery, it also has a storied history in watchmaking. Cartier’s first foray in watchmaking came in 1888, offering exclusively ladies models. In 1904, Louis Cartier gave his friend and Brazilian aviation pioneer Santos Dumont a watch to wear during his flights. Until then, wrist watches were worn exclusively by women and men opted for the traditional pocket watch. The ‘Santos-Dumont’ was not only the first wristwatch geared towards men but also the first pilot’s watch.