SIHH 2014: Hands-on with the new Cartier Tank MC Two-Tone Skeleton and its rose gold and ruthenium movement (with live photos and price)

Cartier has now given its signature skeleton movement a striking new aesthetic with dark ruthenium bridges highlighted by gilded bevels, which will be presented for the first time in the Tank MC at SIHH 2014.

Last year Cartier took the covers off the latest addition to its century-old Tank family, the Tank MC. Equipped with the 1904 MC, the base model Tank MC is the accessibly priced entry into Cartier’s proprietary movements. At SIHH later this month Cartier will unveil a new Tank MC at the other end of the spectrum, the Tank MC Two-Tone Skeleton with a striking ruthenium and pink gold movemen.

The Tank MC Two-Tone Skeleton is mechanically identical to the earlier version in palladium, but it boasts a striking new aesthetic for the movement. All the brushed, top surfaces of the bridges and main plate are ruthenium coated, giving them a dark grey colour. But the polished bevels and brushed flanks are plated in pink gold, providing a stark contrast to the ruthenium surfaces.

(The watch pictured is a prototype so the movement has blemishes.)

The pink gold finish highlights the shape of the base plate, which is skeletonised into the form of large Roman numerals. And it also makes the highly polished bevels more prominent.

This contrasting movement finish is not new as it has been used elsewhere, but it works particularly well with this skeletonised calibre, the 9619 MC.

It is accomplished in five steps, starting with plating the entire bridge and main plate in pink gold. Then the bevels and flanks are covered with masking, following by applying a brushed finished to the top surfaces. Ruthenium plating on the brush surfaces follows. And lastly the masking is removed, resulting in the two-tone finish.

The Tank MC Two-Tone Skeleton will retail for €36,500, or about US$49,700, before taxes. And it is also available in pink gold with diamonds for €64,500, equivalent to about US$87,800.

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