From its very creation in 1917 – when Louis Cartier made the distinct aesthetic choice of a rectangular shape, as opposed to the round watches of his generation – Cartier’s Tank watch has been an avant-garde piece, as it continues to be today with the newly-launched Tank Must.
Timeless, sure of itself and of the purity of its design, the Cartier Tank watch captures the zeitgeist of its time. Now, more than a century later, it has been reinvented with the Tank Must. Tank and Must, the fusion of two of the maison’s icons: on one hand, Tank, essential and dandy, and on the other, Must, a name immortalised at Cartier in the 1970s that revisits the classic conventions of luxury.
“I don’t wear a Tank watch to tell the time. Actually, I never even wind it. I wear a Tank because it is the watch to wear!”Andy Warhol
“The Must watches are part of the Maison’s heritage and legend. They have withstood the test of time thanks to their instantly recognisable style, but also their excellent craftsmanship, which Cartier applies to all its creations right down to the smallest detail,” says Pierre Rainero, Director of Image, Style and Heritage at 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. Tank Must is 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’s Design Studio has reworked the design of the new iteration with monochrome versions and an original version based on a new photovoltaic movement.
This watchmaking classic oozes sophistication on every level, from its steel strap with curved links, entirely redesigned and interchangeable, to the latest high-efficiency quartz movement.
Since the very beginning, Cartier’s watchmaking ambition has been to constantly strive to improve, relying on technical progress as well as the maison’s response and commitments to the environment and biodiversity. Pioneering since the invention of the first timepiece worn on the wrist with the Santos watch (1904), or the one with the folding buckle (1910), Cartier Watchmaking has always been committed to anticipating its clients’ needs. Whether it’s the QuickSwitch patent (2018), which allows straps to be interchanged at home, or the latest photovoltaic dial found on the Tank Must watch, a modern alternative with a quartz movement with no need to change the batteries, the approach is the same: improve the lives, and satisfaction, of Cartier’s clients.
The challenge lies in applying a new technique to the watch’s aesthetic and shape every time, finding a confluence between modernity and watchmaking tradition, a challenge and commitment crystallised by the Cartier Manufacture at La Chaux-de-Fonds. More than simply a production site, the Manufacture is a research hub, a creative and innovative laboratory that has succeeded in applying the photovoltaic principle to the Tank watch’s dial, without altering its aesthetic.
It took two years for the development team to integrate the new SolarBeat™ movement, with a lifespan of over 16 years, into the Tank Must, the first watch to benefit from this technology.
This pioneering watch 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 percent plant matter, produced using waste from apples grown for the food industry in Switzerland, Germany and Italy.
The production procedure represents a step forward in preserving the environment by reducing our carbon footprint (six times less), saving water (up to 10 litres) and energy (up to seven megajoules, or approximately 80 smartphone charges) compared to the manufacture of a calfskin strap.
Loyal to its reputation as an avant-garde timepiece, the Tank watch hasn’t quite finished telling us what it has to say. Its creativity is limitless. Once again with the Tank Must, Cartier dares to make its timepieces evolve with the times while looking towards the future.
To celebrate the launch of these new Cartier Tank interpretations in 2021, the maison is offering a complementary maintenance and repair service to any owner of this watch, regardless of the year it was created. All these creations are eligible for the Cartier Care programme, which provides access to exclusive services including, under certain conditions, extending their international guarantee for up to eight years. Furthermore, a personalisation service is available subject to technical feasibility.
For more information, visit Cartier or or the Line official account @CartierTH
This story first appeared in the September 2021 issue of Prestige Thailand.