Maison Cartier Evolves Their Iconic Shape and Imbues Them with Modern Virtues
Renowned for their case shapes, it comes as no surprise that this year for Watches and Wonders 2021, Cartier’s offerings are full of unusual ones. The star of the show, however, was the Tank Must, an updated version of a Cartier staple that also draws attention to the issue of sustainability within the luxury industry.
Cartier Tank Must
The Tank has long been a staple for watch enthusiasts. The simple rectangular case shape, inspired by its namesake, and iconic dial with the Roman numerals are instantly recognisable Cartier signatures. For this new collection, however, the Tank has undergone an evolution offering two variants that transcend the borders of classic Cartier watchmaking.
The Tank Must combines both the DNA of the Tank Louis Cartier and the Must—a collection launched back in 1977. The new design includes rounded brancards and revisited dial proportions guided by a simple design principle—finesse. For the new Tank Must, Cartier decided to pay homage to the colourful spirit of the 1980s offering the watch with three monochromatic dial colours—red, blue and green.
Further accentuating this element, these references offer no Roman numerals or rail tracks on the dial giving it an extremely clean and minimalistic look.
The other Tank Must is one that calls into question the issue of sustainability in watchmaking. At first glance, the watch may look like a simple classic Tank but in fact, the watch is powered by the sun with the SolarBeat movement that has a lifespan of over 16 years. If you’re wondering where the solar panels are, it is cleverly hidden beneath the dial and peeks at the sun through a nearly invisible perforation on the Roman numerals.
Yet another mind-blowing part of this watch is a strap that is composed of around 40 per cent plant matter, more specifically was produced using waste from apples grown for the food industry in Switzerland, Germany and Italy. The strap has a lower carbon footprint (6 times less), saves water (up to 10 litres) and energy (approximately 80 smartphone charges) compared to what is needed to make a calfskin strap.
Ballon Bleu de Cartier
If you’ve always been a fan of the swanky Ballon Bleu case but needed that Goldilocks, not too big, not too small size, this one is for you. This year, Cartier has announced a brand new 40 mm case size for this shape sitting perfectly in the middle of the larger 42 mm and smaller 36 mm (women’s sizes go down to 33 and 28 mm) size. Other than that, the watch is pretty much the classic Ballon Bleu we all know and love.
This year’s Cartier Privé collection adds the Closche de Cartier as the fifth opus alongside the Crash, Tank Cintrée, Tonneau and Tank Asymétrique. Named after the ‘cloche’ (bell) shape which appeared in the 1920s, the horizontal alignment of the dial allows the watch to be read both on the wrist and, can also be set on its side to become a table clock.