Watches and Wonders 2021: An exciting and well priced time to get yourself a Cartier Tank...

While most of the watch world has been eagerly waiting to see what the likes of Rolex, Tudor and Patek are releasing this Watches and Wonders, I’ve been most excited to see what Cartier had planned.

They’re a brand I’ve fallen wildly in love with over the past 18 months and it seems they’ve just released some incredible new models that are bound to make others do the same…

The New Cartier Tank Must with SolarBeat PhotoVoltaic Movement

The New Cartier Tank Must with SolarBeat PhotoVoltaic Movement - Image Credit: Cartier

Taking direct inspiration from the Tank Louis Cartier, the design of the Tank Must has been developed while staying faithful to the historic model. Rounded brancards, revisited dial proportions: finesse is the guiding force behind this new design. A watch that dares to return to great classicism down to the smallest detail, with a precious pearled cabochon winding crown and the return of a traditional ardillon buckle on the leather strap version.

Cartier Manufacture at La Chaux-de-Fonds is a research hub, a creative and innovative laboratory that has succeeded in applying a photovoltaic principle to the Tank watch’s dial, without altering its aesthetic.

A true technical feat that relies on the delicate and invisible perforation of Roman numerals, whose openings allow solar energy to reach the photovoltaic cells hidden under the dial. It took two years for the development team to integrate this SolarBeat movement, with a lifespan of over 16 years, into the Tank Must, the first watch to benefit from this technology. A pioneering watch that also introduces a bracelet produced in an innovative material that guarantees a high level of both quality and comfort. It is composed of around 40% plant matter, produced using waste from apples grown for the food industry in Switzerland, Germany and Italy.

Sizes: Small, Large and Extra Large Cartier sizes
Movement: Automatic 1847 MC for Extra Large model, SolarBeat PhotoVoltaic Quartz for small and large
Functions: hours and minutes
Case: stainless steel
Dial: white dial on smaller sizes, extra large has silver dial and guilloche centre
Strap: bracelet or leather straps available

Price: From 2,510 Euros
Availability: TBC

First thoughts

The New Cartier Tank Must with SolarBeat PhotoVoltaic Movement - Image Credit: Cartier

The modern-day Cartier Tank sits on so many wrists around the world thanks to its iconic design, easy to live with quartz movement, fantastic price point and naturally timeless design. Well it looks like Cartier has just improved the standard Tank on every single one of those points introducing a new movement that suddenly makes ‘normal’ quartz just a little bit more special. To find this tech on an incredibly simplicity dress watch is mindblowing and trust Cartier to be the ones to introduce it. I love everything about this from the new crown, to the new movement and the tweaked design.

I would have loved to have seen the standard large size with a guilloche dial, but either way, I can’t wait to see these in person. Who knows, if they impress me as much as they have here I could easily see myself adding one to the collection…

The New Cartier Tank Must

The New Cartier Tank Must - Image Credit: Cartier

With the launch of the Must watches in 1977, the Tank watch, a Maison watchmaking icon created sixty years earlier, was made available in a dial and a large gold-coloured logo, it freed itself from traditional watchmaking codes, opting instead for elegant simplicity. Faithful to the spirit of the 80s, the new Tank Must watch is available in three monochromatic colours that are embedded into Cartier’s DNA: red, blue and green. Steel watches that favour minimalist dials with no Roman numerals or “rail-tracks” and a fully chromatic look with matching straps.

Stats breakdown

Case size: Large
Movement: quartz movement
Functions: hours and minutes
Case: stainless steel
Dial: Three lacquered dials in burgundy, blue, and green
Strap: Alligator leather straps

Price: TBC
Availability: TBC

First thoughts

The New Cartier Tank Must - Image Credit: Cartier

Game, set and match to Cartier. Re-releasing these models shows they still have that fun playful streak in them showing they’re more than just a brand who can release unobtainable limited editions. I love the Must De Cartier watches from the past (so much so I picked one up) and they have done everything right here to bring them back faithfully.

When the Must De Cartier Tanks were first introduced, they served the purpose of offering fans of Cartier a more affordable way to wear and enjoy a classic Tank on the wrist without a compromise in quality. Well, it looks like not much has changed. It’s hard to pick a favourite as they’re genuinely all gorgeous. If you were to push me it's between the green and the burgundy...

The New Cartier Tank Louis Models

The New Cartier Tank Louis Models - Image Credit: Cartier

The Louis Carter Tank cultivates its timeless elegance in colour. The choice of blue and red was a must, as these colours are a part of Cartier’s DNA. An intense red and a bright blue highlight and enhance the watch’s pure lines. Cartier has added sophisticated details to these two precious versions, including Roman numerals and gold-coloured “rail tracks”, which help to enhance the dial’s graphic intensity. The blue version is in pink gold, the red in yellow gold, both coordinated with the straps, these two watches come with a Manufacture 1917 MC movement with manual winding.

Stats breakdown

Case size: Large
Movement: Manual winding 1917 MC
Power reserve: 38 hours of power reserve
Functions: hours and minutes
Case: pink or yellow gold
Dial: Burgundy & blue
Strap: Alligator leather straps

Price: 13,300 euros

First thoughts

The New Cartier Tank Louis Models - Image Credit: Cartier

Another homerun for Cartier and the Tank! Now of course this model is a little more pricey thanks to the gold cases and manual wind movements, but once again those dials are mesmerizing. The classic roman numerals still make an appearance but now the design has had a complete art deco overhaul with a sunburst coating for good measure.

This time my pick of the bunch is the blue. Elegance and charm in its purest form.

The New Cartier Privé Cloche De Cartier

The New Cartier Privé Cloche De Cartier - Image Credit: Cartier

Barely 100 years old and still ticking as it did on the very first day. Keeping everything from the original, with a singularity that surprises at first glance, making you see things differently as you get closer to it.

Available in pink gold, yellow gold or platinum, it displays all of Cartier’s watchmaking codes: rail tracks, sword-shaped hands and a closed-set cabochon on the winding crown. It has stayed faithful to the original model’s finishes: satin-finished on the back, polished between the lugs or edges, it is powered by the 1917 MC Manufacture mechanical movement, a calibre created in 2019. Both unique and surprising, the time can be read by extending the arm, without the need to bring the wrist towards you. Proof that even in the 1920s, Cartier approached watchmaking with comfort and ergonomics in mind.

Stats breakdown

Case width: 37.15 x 28.75 mm
Movement: 1917 MC hand-wound
Power reserve: 38 hours
Functions: hours and minutes
Case: yellow gold, pink gold, platinum
Dial: yellow, grey or cream
Strap: alligator leather

Price: TBC
Availability: TBC

First thoughts

The New Cartier Privé Cloche De Cartier - Image Credit: Cartier

The Privé Collection from Cartier houses all of the brand's re-imaginations of those standout, individual models from their past. Think the Asymétrique, Cintrée or the Crash. Well this new Cloche is the latest model to receive this treatment and as ever its as charming as its always been. I adore how Cartier doesn't dilute their standard range offerings by filling them with re-issues of these icons, but rather they keep them feeling special and mysterious by adding them to the Privé collection.

The New Cartier Privé Cloche De Cartier - Image Credit: Cartier

You can even go for a skeleton version if your pockets are even deeper...

The New Ballon Bleu De Cartier

The New Ballon Bleu De Cartier - Image Credit: Cartier

The latest additions to the Ballon Bleu De Cartier are arguably some of the best, with a new size and a new in-house movement powering this widely popular and well loved newer model for Cartier. Now available in 40mm there is almost certainly a Ballon Bleu available for every wrist size as this model joins the current line up of 28mm, 33mm, 36mm and 42mm examples.

Of course in true Cartier style there are both more standard, conventional options such as the steel models with silver dials as well as gold with diamond set bezels if you really want to push the boat out.

Stats breakdown

Case width: 40mm
Thickness: 12.45mm
Movement: Automatic 1847 MC
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and date
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: stainless steel or gold
Dial: silver with guilloche
Strap: bracelet or alligator straps

Price: from $5,800
Availability: From April 2021

First thoughts

The New Ballon Bleu De Cartier - Image Credit: Cartier

If you’re looking to get into the world of Cartier but maybe don’t have much experience with their iconic rectangular or square models, this Ballon Bleu might be the perfect starting place for you. With their in house movement, extremely balanced size and competitive price point, the Ballon Bleu is a solid first luxury watch option for many, allowing people to dip their toes into Cartier.

Introducing Cartier Vintage

Introducing Cartier Vintage - Image Credit: Cartier

Cartier has always sold its own antique pieces; these comprise jewellery and watchmaking creations and precious accessories dating from the start of the 20th century and up to the 1970s. Today, the Maison expands its operations with the launch of the Cartier Vintage collection. Made up of watches created between 1970 and 2010, this selection demonstrates the rich variety of shape and form in Cartier’s watchmaking repertoire as well as the timelessness of its designs. With pieces that are as iconic as they are rare, the Maison gives great connoisseurs the opportunity to acquire authentic creations from its watchmaking heritage.

First thoughts

If there is only one thing you learn from Cartier it should be that great design never dies. Much like the brands work in their Privé Collection, Cartier’s work to now honour creations from their past directly from the brand themselves is refreshing and shows a level of respect for the years before them. A fantastic service that no doubt boasts the brands strength in the market and viability in investing in vintage Cartier.

That’s not all from Cartier...

This was a look at some of the main pieces from Cartier that we believe are likely to interest you the reader the most, however the brand released a lot of other models. Here’s a quick snapshot look at those now.

Santos De Cartier

The Santos De Cartier - Image Credit: Cartier

Rotonde De Cartier

The Cartier Rotonde De Cartier - Image Credit: Cartier

Pashe De Cartier

Pashe De Cartier - Image Credit: Cartier

Final thoughts on Cartier

Cartier, thankfully you didn’t disappoint. I was concerned you might, but with that new solar movement in the Tank Must and those colourful throwback examples models stealing the show, now more than ever I can’t wait to get down to a Cartier boutique to try these bad boys in person.

The New Cartier Tank Must with SolarBeat PhotoVoltaic Movement - Image Credit: Cartier

Whether this is just good timing or a genius move by Cartier, these releases serve as a great answer to the Cartier hype at the moment with actual interesting modern offerings for those getting into Cartier at price points that won’t turn people away.

The brand has also taken steps with certain Tank straps to move forward in preserving the environment by reducing their carbon footprint (6 times less), saving water (up to 10 litres) and energy (up to 7 megajoules, or approximately 80 smartphone charges) compared to the manufacture of a calfskin strap.

The New Cartier Tank Must - Image Credit: Cartier

Cartier operates at many different levels appealing to a range of pocket depths. Combine this with a respect for the past while pushing forward at the same time and you’re left with a brand that will continue to dominate the Swiss market.

To find out more about these new Cartier releases, click here.