CARTIER Tank Basculante
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  1. #1
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    CARTIER Tank Basculante

    Cartier Tank Basculante
    The (Mini) Review







    Intro

    I learned about this particular tank just recently, and for all I know it’s been out and discontinued since quite awhile ago - when exactly, I am not really sure. I was really interested in this watch since the very exact moment I saw it. I mean how many other Cartiers that you know that can do this ‘reverse’ thing? Apart from the ‘novelty’ factor, I think this watch is really nice looking too. I would definitely put this one high on the ‘next watch list’ for my partner if it was still in production. But since it’s been discontinued awhile ago, I sort of gave up pursuing this watch because I thought even if I got a used one, it wouldn’t be in a nice condition anymore. Either that or it would be on sale at some ridiculously high price…. Then a few months later, I was browsing sale forum at TZ out of boredom and then I saw a Basculante for sale posted by Marc, and after negotiating the price and a few days wait, the watch was finally here in Australia.

    He was the second owner of this watch, apparently because it was a tad too small for his wife. My partner has a small build and small wrists, so I knew that this watch would be perfect for her. It was sort of an impulse buy, really. The next watch that we’re planning to get isn’t exactly this one, but I guess it won’t harm to have another nice watch in our collection especially if it’s not that expensive. I am not sure why the first owner decided to sell the watch though, because it’s really a nice watch. As a matter of fact, I don’t quite understand why this watch wasn’t so popular back then because I personally think this is a really interesting watch. It flips like a Reverso but in a different style, plus it looks so elegant.


    Watch

    The watch comes in standard white Cartier outer box, and inside the usual red cartier watch box, and some papers – nothing unusual. The size of the watch is roughly around 32mmx22mm (rectangular), pretty standard size for ladies’ watch (I think it’s almost similar to the size of Tank Solo). Dial wise, the placement of the roman numerals and the style is very similar to Tank Americaine, another timeless classic from Cartier. The minute markers are in exact style but with Tank Americaine it’s a bit more rectangular (taller) due to the shape of Americaine itself.
    It has blued hands and unlike regular Cartier, the crown actually sits on top of the case. It has what I believe is blue Spinel instead of Sapphire on top of the case. The watch looks very understated – enhanced by the absence of date indicator.











    Mine comes with a belt-type buckle, not deployant buckle. Ideally we would prefer a deployant for convenience but this is good enough. I refuse to pay 300 bucks for a darn Cartier deployant – that’s the thing with watch company – they really try to rip you off in accessories - as if they don’t make enough profit already from your initial watch purchase…






    I think the original concept of Basculante was a bit different to JLC Reverso. Reverso was designed to be flipped to protect the dial, but I think Basculante was designed so that you can stand it on your desk and turn it into a mini desk watch (pictured).






    By the way the strap usually comes in blue alligator, but since I got it used, I thought I’d replace it with a new strap in different colour. The official size measurement of strap for small Basculante is 16.5mm/ 14mm. But when I went to Richemont, they didn’t have that many choices for that exact size, so I got a semi matte brown alligator from Cartier in slightly smaller size instead; measuring 16mm/14mm, it fits perfectly on the Basculante and thankfully the 0.5mm gap is unnoticeable.
    I was going to put something more adventurous like two-tone phyton from ABP, but my partner prefers a classic OEM strap, so I had to stick with Cartier. I think she made a right decision since she wears this at office as well. Surprisingly, the price for this OEM Cartier strap was quite cheap considering it’s an original Cartier in square scaled alligator. Actually it worked out considerably cheaper compared to buying a square scale alligator strap from ABP.
    The case back is very modest – just the word Cartier, watch model number and serial number.







    The Flip
    Unlike JLC Reverso which flips from left to right, with Basculante, you pull out the protruded part on top of the blue spinel, and it will pop out letting you raise the frame. The frame itself supports the inner case that you can rotate 360 degree. The concept is almost like a swing, but the difference is that it is secured in the middle and able to rotate in full circle in both directions.





    JLC Reverso is much easier to flip around due to its simplistic mechanism. Basculante takes a bit more effort to flip but in return you get to play around with this cool rotating mechanism. It would be very interesting if we could have a two-dialled Basculante like Reverso, maybe one in white dial and one in black. But this would never happen I guess, since it’s already discontinued and all.
    The reverse side of Basculante is usually empty, but some variations have either years (commemorative ones) or part display case back (CPCP version one). Mine comes with a very nicely done custom floral engraving done by previous owner. But as much as we like the engraving, this watch will probably never be flipped anyway. But it’s good to know there is something on the other side.




    I also like the inner case of the watch very much and I personally think it’s done better than Reverso. With Reverso you get more plain looking decoration, whereas the Basculante is nicely stamped with repetitive Cartier symbols. One thing I like about Cartier watches is they don’t “cheap out” when it comes to decorating their watches – even the simple ones.




    To put back the watch in its original position, you just need to line the inner case, push the case down, and then press the blue spinel part until it clicks and locked in place.


    Final Words

    This ladies Basculante is powered by Quartz movement, (big/men sized one is manual mechanical from Frederique Piguet) so there is nothing much I can add in regards to this apart from it being super practical. But just like many other Cartier watches, movement is not always the most important thing (you try arguing that with your wives), but it’s also about the classic, timeless Cartier style (the Roman numerals), the finish of the watch, and I have to admit, the prestige that the brand name carries. And with Basculante, you get an indigenous flipping mechanism as a bonus.
    Would I recommend this watch to others? Heck yeah. Would I buy it at new price had it still in circulation? Definitely. I think this watch is perfect for ladies with small to average sized wrists, and it can be worn as both smart casual and also formal evening watch.
    I really still can’t quite understand why this watch wasn’t that popular back then. I mean have a look at some wrist shots of the watch at the end of this review and decide yourself, and you wouldn’t get it too, would you?
    Thanks for reading the review and enjoy the rest of the pictures!
































  2. #2
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    Re: CARTIER Tank Basculante

    Hi!

    Very nice photos and nice review. As I saw it what most caught my attention was also the fact that it reverses and the blue stone, that gives it a quite luxury touch!

    And I must agree with you when you say " that’s the thing with watch company – they really try to rip you off in accessories - as if they don’t make enough profit already from your initial watch purchase…
    "

    In middle of all, the luckiest is your partner

  3. #3
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    Re: CARTIER Tank Basculante

    Hi, thanks for the comment. Funnily I actually found one (large manual one for male version) brand new one sitting at a local watch shop. It's selling for quite cheap too. I mean cheap as in considering it's a Cartier and if you wanted to buy a manual wound Cartier now, it would cost you much more...

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  5. #4
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    Re: CARTIER Tank Basculante

    What beautiful photographs of a stunning, magnificent watch! I often fall into the habit of disregarding Tanks but I simply cannot ignore that captivating design. As a review, I definitely think your pictures speak louder than your words. Plus, if you don't mind me saying, you have beautiful hands.
    "...[A] watch isn’t about telling the time, it is about your relationship with time. A watch is about style, a story and the history of both your watch and your own life."
    -Askmen.com's The Watch Snob

  6. #5
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    Re: CARTIER Tank Basculante

    That is a classic beauty. A true class in its own.
    - IWC Classic Pilot's Mark XVI
    - Omega 300M Bond Seamaster Chronometer
    - Calibre de Cartier SS
    - Corum Admiral's Cup 41mm

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    Re: CARTIER Tank Basculante

    I have a 10 year-old watch in this exact model I am looking to sell. The watch is in excellent condition, though the strap has some understandable fading. No iphone pic I post will possible do justice like the above photographs, but I am happy to email a pic to any interested buyers. I am asking $3275.

  8. #7
    Member dlhussain's Avatar
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    Re: CARTIER Tank Basculante

    I have just picked one up for €2000, can't believe it's so cheap! It is so beautiful, was originally considering the large tank solo but after finding one in unworn condition just had to buy it! My wife wont be too pleased as I've bought 3 watches in last 6 months... Yikes

  9. #8
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    Re: CARTIER Tank Basculante

    Not my cup of tea.
    Looks a transformer.

  10. #9
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    Re: CARTIER Tank Basculante

    Quote Originally Posted by dlhussain View Post
    I have just picked one up for €2000, can't believe it's so cheap! It is so beautiful, was originally considering the large tank solo but after finding one in unworn condition just had to buy it! My wife wont be too pleased as I've bought 3 watches in last 6 months... Yikes
    I'm looking for a ladies basculante, but cannot find one new. any idea in which period this type was produced and sold?

  11. #10
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    Re: CARTIER Tank Basculante

    WOW, the pictures are breathtaking. excellent watch. great review.

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