Hands On: Cartier’s Must have new coloured TanksFergus Nash
These new lavishly-coloured Cartier Tank Musts might seem like just another trend-hopping release of 2021, but they actually represent one of the best survival stories in Swiss watch history. When the infamous “quartz crisis” hit in the ’70s, the artful designs of Cartier had to become more attainable for the average consumer or face extinction. Utilising the then-new Must de Cartier sub-brand, the Parisian fashion house were able to release countless gorgeous watches using more affordable materials such as steel cases, gold plating, and quartz movements of their own. The result was a success, with the increased customer-base helping to keep Cartier’s watch division afloat.
Fast forward to 2021 and Cartier have progressed with the times once again. Swiss watchmaking is often a luxury proposition, but with global crises mounting, there is a sense that people are more likely to consider a relatively affordable option than a wildly expensive splurge.
The new Cartier Tank Musts are direct homages to those 1970s models, blending the timeless case of the Tank de Louis Cartier with some heartwarming coloured dials that will hold your stare and get just the right amount of attention. They may be quartz-powered, but it’s hard to see that as a downside with a watch that looks this good.