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During the final decade of the 20th century, the watchmaking industry was still rebounding from the quartz crisis's impact, as consumers slowly regained their interest in mechanical timepieces. Amidst this context, Cartier embarked on a mission to reaffirm its position as a genuine watchmaking manufacturer. From 1998 to 2008, the Collection Privée Cartier Paris (CPCP) revived some of Cartier's most iconic designs from the previous century. Classics like the Crash and the Tank Cintrée were reintroduced, now coupled with high-quality mechanical movements. Many of these designs had been absent from production for decades, showcasing Cartier's commitment to honoring its heritage.

Each piece within the Collection Privée Cartier Paris showcased impeccable mechanical movements, a departure from Cartier's predominant association with quartz movements at the time. Collaborating with external suppliers such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, Frédéric Piguet, Piaget, and THA Ébauche, Cartier harnessed their expertise in mechanical watchmaking.

These CPCP watches featured distinctive details aimed at setting them apart. With the exception of the Cintrée model, each bore the discreet "Cartier Paris" signature on the dial, a subtle homage to their vintage counterparts. A central rose motif adorned the dial beneath the hands, radiating into a timeless guilloché pattern. Even the casebacks boasted subtle engravings reminiscent of early 20th-century craftsmanship. The movements themselves, finished in-house by Cartier, showcased the iconic interlaced "double C" pattern across the collection.

Despite Cartier's global prominence, the Collection Privée models were crafted in limited quantities, often capped at 50, 100, or 150 units. Those not part of numbered series usually remained within the range of 200 to 500 pieces. Ultimately, due to challenges in procuring parts from various suppliers, the CPCP initiative concluded.

Introduced in 1912, the Tortue was Cartier's third wristwatch design, predating the iconic Tank by a few years. Taking inspiration from the contours of a tortoiseshell, the Tortue initially emerged as a simple time-only piece. However, Cartier swiftly expanded into crafting more intricate iterations, including a minute repeater and a monopusher chronograph – remarkable feats during the early 20th century.

In later years, the Tortue design became a cornerstone of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris. Notably, the Tortue claimed the title of the best-selling CPCP model in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2005 – for half the period it was available. The distinctive case of the Tortue housed a variety of complications, ranging from a perpetual calendar to a monopusher chronograph. The Tortue ref. 2646, introduced around 2003, showcased a complex movement within an automatic caliber framework.

The Tortue 2646 showcased its perpetual calendar functions with subtlety and intuition. The guilloché pattern emanated from the center, surrounded by four subdials that contrasted elegantly. This central rose motif drew inspiration from vintage Cartier clocks, known for their unique decoration. Roman numerals and a rail track were imprinted in black ink on the dial, complemented by legible Breguet-style blued steel hands.

The sub-dial at three o'clock displayed the date, while its counterpart at nine o'clock indicated the days of the week in English. A disc with an arrow pointed to the relevant year at twelve o'clock, with the months encircling it via a small blued hand. At six o'clock, a practical 24-hour display added balance to the overall design. Despite the wealth of information, the dial maintained its balance and legibility.

As anticipated, the dial bore the "Cartier Paris" inscription at 12 o'clock, recalling the early 20th-century pieces that featured the city's name below the brand. Delicate black ink application revealed "Cartier" across one half of the ten o'clock Roman numeral.

The Tortue 2646 boasted an uncommon platinum case. While yellow and white gold were more common, platinum was a rarity in the CPCP series. The two-part case displayed graceful, curved lines and polished surfaces. Measuring 34mm by 33mm, with a lug-to-lug length of 43mm, the watch achieved a balance between classic aesthetics and contemporary preferences. At 11mm in thickness, it offered a substantial presence on the wrist while remaining suitable for shirt cuffs.

Powering this platinum Cartier Tortue was the Calibre 9421MC, based on a Girard Perregaux ébauche equipped with a Dubois Depraz perpetual calendar module. The automatic movement incorporated 33 jewels and a mono-metallic balance, delivering a power reserve of 48 hours.

This Perpetual Cartier Collection Privée Cartier Paris includes its outer box, inner box, the Certificate of Origin, black alligator strap on folding buckle.