Cartier Looks Back To The ’70s And ’80s For Its New Tank Must And Tank Louis Cartier Watches
Cartier has a rich history when it comes to dial design. And when it comes to the Tank models, we’ve seen it all. That makes sense. The watch originated in 1917, so by the time the ’70s and ’80s came around, it’s only natural that the designers had begun to play with new ideas. Their creativity coupled with the perfect blank canvas resulted in some stunning models. The amazing design found in those watches makes a comeback in the latest releases for Watches & Wonders 2022. Today, Cartier presented three new precious-metal Tank Louis Cartier references and two Tank Must models which join the current lineup.
First created in 1917 by Louis Cartier, the Tank’s signature profile has been a timeless icon for over a century. In the latest redesign, the Tank Must sees it return to a most classic shape, based on the earliest Tank designs. The Tank Louis Cartier has remained more faithful to this original form throughout its existence than the Tank Must. However, the unification of form gives the Tank line consistency, with the design spilling over into other models like last year’s Solarbeat. This is in contrast to the Tank Solo, which has a longer shape and easily distinguishable flat-top brancards. The more classic case shape of these new Tank models makes them a classy yet versatile option. They’re a perfect pick for men and women who enjoy the unique look of this iconic Cartier watch but want something a little different from the Roman-numeral dial.
The New Tank Must And Tank Louis Cartier
Not including the Tank Chinoise models that join the Cartier Privé collection, this makes for a total of five new Tanks. There are two in yellow gold, two in steel, and one in pink gold. This expansion of the Cartier Tank collection includes two rectangular “mosaic” dials in gray and Bordeaux, and my personal favorites, the all-black dials. Following the popular tri-color Tank Must release of last year, a black model joins the blue, green, and maroon versions. The black dial was previously exclusive to the Geneva boutique, but now it is available to all. It’s a real highlight in the golden case of the Tank Louis Cartier, as well as the steel case of the Tank Must. My personal highlight, though, and the star of Cartier’s releases is the black-dialed Tank Louis Cartier.
However, though I am partial to the glossy black lacquered dials, it’s very much worth highlighting what goes into creating the “mosaic” dials. Cartier uses a special electrochemical engraving technique, allowing for high-precision markings on the dial. Though practically imperceptible to the naked eye, the markings’ different orientations form a group of sections, recreating the pattern on the dial of Cartier Must watches from the 1980s. Lacquer is used for the red dial, and the gray dial is given a galvanized finish. The dials are then given a glossy application that highlights the four Roman numerals. All three Louis Cartier watches are powered by the hand-wound caliber 1917 MC. The movement provides 38 hours of power reserve and runs at 21,600vph. The Tank Must models are all quartz powered.
Cartier is one of the brands I was most excited to visit at this year’s Watches & Wonders, and it did not disappoint. In particular, the selection of new Tank models was a real highlight. I think it’s no coincidence that the brand has seen nothing but growth in the last couple of years. And something tells me that these releases are not the last thing we’ll see from Cartier in 2022. Personally, I’d love to see a solar version of the black-dialed Tank Must. Its dial is one that would lend itself perfectly to the Solarbeat technology, allowing for even more surface area through which light could be absorbed. Make sure to check out our coverage of the other Cartier releases, including the Masse Mysterieuse and the additions to the Privé collection.
What’s your take on the new Tank models? Do you like the nod back to classic designs of the black and “mosaic” dials? Or do you prefer the classic Roman-numeral layout? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.