What We Know
Each year Cartier fans watch in anticipation for the unveiling of the maison’s newest First Copy Watches in the Privé collection, a selection of numbered watches for what the brand calls “the collectors’ collection” of its most historic and “mythical models.” And nothing is more mythical than the Tank that started it all, the watch now joining Privé, the Tank Normale.
It’s a brutal (literally) inspiration for what would become one of the most iconic designs in watchmaking history, not to mention a jumping-off point for Cartier with its many variations of Tanks that would follow.
It seems fitting that after a long wait, the Normale joins those other variations (and other iconic watches) to bridge the gap between Cartier Replica Watches For Sale past and present, alongside the Crash, Tank Cintrée, Tonneau, Tank Asymétrique, Cloche, and Tank Chinoise.
This reissue of the Tank Normale has many of the iconic features of the original from 1917, with the same proportions and beveled sapphire crystal, a beautiful Roman numeral dial with inner railroad track and the 1917 date hidden in the VII numeral, and satin-brushed case and “brancards” that contrast against the polished chamfers.
The proportions are upsized from the original 27mm x 19mm to a more modern 35.2 mm x 27.8 mm. The yellow gold AAA Normale Replica comes with a blue sapphire cabochon and a brown alligator strap, while the platinum has a ruby cabochon winding crown with a black alligator strap. Each is limited to 200 pieces. But there’s more.
To bring this watch into the modern era, Cartier watches first copy is making 50 more Normales in yellow gold and platinum with their signature skeletonized movements, both of which feature color-matched accenting on the bridges of the 24-hour movement. That’s right, while the minute hand goes around once every hour as normal, the hour hand goes around the dial once every 24 hours.
To make matters more confusing, the 12:00 position is still at the top (unlike most 24-hour dials that start at midnight). Daylight hours are at the top half of the dial marked by sun-shaped bridges, night at the bottom with crescent moon accent.
What We Think
The Cartier Normale replica to review has been a sleeper for some time, produced only for two years on its original release. And while the more masculine size of the Cintrée and bold design of the Crash made them collecting darlings, the Normale deserves credit for starting it all. I know a lot of collectors have been waiting for Cartier to kick-start the Normale again to round out the Tank collection, and I can’t imagine they’ll be disappointed.
Cartier is all about the details, and the choices like the satin-brushed brancards and beveled crystal immediately got love from collectors I spoke to since the announcement. The skeletonized option itself wasn’t out of left field, per se, but the 24-hour complication was certainly a surprise.
I do wish the brand had used “Breguet” hands to harken to the Cartier Replica watches for sale near me original instead of the “epée” hands from the 1940s Normales. But that’s far less important than the design feature that really makes the piece: the bracelet.