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Cartier Privé: A Revitalised Cartier Tortue And A Single-Button Chronograph

Cartier Privé: A Revitalised Cartier Tortue And A Single-Button Chronograph


Each year, Cartier captures the hearts of its most fervent followers with the introduction of a new series of Privé watches. Now in its eighth year, following on from last year’s Tank Normale, Cartier is introducing a contemporary
interpretation of one of the most prestigious watches in the Cartier repertoire:
the Cartier Privé Tortue watch, of which an original was created in 1912.

As a historic model of the brand, the Tortue (French for tortoise) is one of Cartier’s hallmark designs as the self-proclaimed ‘watchmaker of shapes’. The new 2024 interpretation of the Tortue, while ultimately remaining faithful to the original design, now has a slimmer, lighter profile. Yet more excitingly, Cartier is further reinvigorating the Tortue by introducing a single-button chronograph complication alongside classic hour and minute editions.

Three new hour and minute Tortue models

Heralding the arrival of the new models are three hour and minute only Tortue models. This includes a yellow-gold edition with a sapphire cabochon crown (limited to 200 pieces), a platinum model with ruby cabochon crown (with the same limitation), and, for the first time in the Privé collection, a platinum model with diamond-set bezel and crown. The latter has a limitation of a mere 50 pieces.

The two platinum editions feature a silvered opaline dial with rhodium-plated Roman numerals, while the yellow-gold edition shines with a wonderfully classic grained gold-finish dial and black printed indices. Paying tribute to the very first model, the dials indicate the time with apple-shaped hands and a rail-track that follows the iconic shape of the watch around the hour markers.

The reworked calibre 430

All of these models beat to the rhythm of the manufacture mechanical
430 MC movement, with Cartier adapting the dimensions to fit the Tortue. The 430 MC is one of the thinnest movements by Cartier. A highly popular calibre that uses the Piaget 430P as its base, the 430 MC has a 36-hour power reserve and a frequency of 3 Hz.

Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph

This brings us to the exciting addition of the Cartier Privé Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph, available in platinum with a silvered opaline dial or yellow-gold with a grained gold-finish dial. Larger than their two-hand counterparts, the cases of these more complicated editions have dimensions of 43.7 x 34.8 x 10.7 mm.

While marking a modern-day debut for the complication within the collection, the single-button chronograph is something aficionados may recognise, with Cartier introducing it into a Tortue model back in 1928. Cartier then reinterpreted it once more in 1998 as part of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris with the sophisticated details we see today: blued-steel apple-shaped hands, a hollowed-out central seconds hand, and triangular motifs on the four corners of the dial. It is from this rather handsome model that Cartier takes its inspiration today.

Cartier Privé Tortue: Legibility at the forefront

To enhance the legibility of the dial and make the most of this highly precise chronograph, Cartier place the rail track outside of the Roman numerals. Free of any additional detail, Cartier devote the entire dial space to the two snailed subdial counters, which are also in blue for the sake of readability. As for the start, stop and reset: the three functions sit within a single push-button integrated into the crown, meaning the wearer may activate it within a single motion. Apple-shaped hands indicate the hours and minutes.

The heart of the Cartier Privé Tortue

Powering the new Cartier Privé Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph is the manual winding 1928 MC, which is visible via the open caseback. As well as revealing the spectacle of gears at work, the calibre’s column wheel makes for a particularly important component as it regulates the functions of the various levers. The movement is 4.3 mm thick, making it Cartier’s thinnest chronograph.

The decoration of the 1928 MC also spares no details – the curved Côte de Genève decoration highlights the shape of the bridge, while the levers, springs and bridges are bevelled. The calibre’s metal is brushed, while the wheels and barrels are rimmed.

Last but not least, both of these models are limited to 200 numbered pieces each, and come with matching alligator leather straps matching to their respective ruby or sapphire cabochon. That said, the straps are interchangeable should the wearer wish to switch things up.