Finding references for some vintage Cartier watches can be difficult.
I'm planning to post some references on certain vintage Cartier watches and I will start with one of my favorites.

The rare 1970s Cartier Tank Stepped with the references 15176 & 1543 made in the New York, London and Paris boutiques- aka jumbo, xl, cristallor.

It came in three different variations depending in which boutique is was made and sold and I will try to explain the differences.

This specific model seen above is a PRE-Must De Cartier Ref: 15176 (NY) which in my opinion is the best variation of the series. It had a gilded brass alloy back-plate and solid silver vermeil gilded front case made circa 1975 in the Cartier boutique New York with the ''FOUR SCREW back-case & large elongated cabochon sapphire crown which was partly integrated into the case design which function as a crown guard, and it had punched logo text in French language and punched serial numbers on the back case starting with the number 12 followed by its 5 digits serial number''.

The less desirable versions of this model had the Ref: 1543 and were made in the UK and France. The London boutique version had a SMALL crown which was NOT integrated into the case and had a push back-case with NO screws and it had sloppy back engravings (in English language) with NO serial numbers.

The Paris boutique version also had the SMALL crown and a push back-case with NO screws and also had sloppy back engraving (in the French language) with NO serial numbers. Paris & London boutique were based closer together and they exchanged the same ideas and stock parts.

NY boutique was a more isolated store and they came up with their own parts and designs which reflects back in these three different variations. All three references are rare!

The Stepped Tank was considered oversized than any other Tank model during the 1970s and not many liked the artistic design of the case. It was only offered for a couple of years (circa 1973-1976) but not many were sold which make them today very sought after!

But the New York Ref: 15716 with the FOUR SCREW case and elongated crown is quality and design wise the best and rarest of the three versions.

The dials were hand painted in lacquer and because of this almost all have aged with a patina to different colors which we consider today to be tropical. They came in white, blue, black and brown with gilded hand painted numerals and matching gilded sword hands. But the true classic iconic white Cartier dial with black numerals and black sword hands is my favorite variation (also some times seen with gilded sword hands).

These Tank watches are sleepers duo the lack of information out there. The Ref: 15716 New York version can almost fetch double the price than the Paris and London versions because of its better quality built, design and low volume production. In the last 20 years or so I've seen only less than 25 of these watches offered or sold and I have seen in comparison thousands and thousands of Rolex submariners.

The last one ive seen sold in 2019 was by Theo & Harris watches and it was sold for $3955. And it was not even the better NY version but it was the London or Paris variation with the small crown and it had a wrong back plate (maybe aftermarket) which was missing the brand and info engravings.

Hope I could help.

Knowledge is power.

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