The word icon gets thrown around a lot in the watch industry. Every manufacturer wants one and you can understand why. But the Cartier Tank is without a doubt one of the fundamental pillars of watch design in the last century. While the Santos-Dumont collection has received a lot of attention from the brand in the last couple of years, 2021 is all about the Tank, with a range of new references that offer an entry into the world of Cartier. Of these new releases, perhaps none better reflect the spirit of the early Art Deco design movement of the ’20s than the Tank Louis Cartier collection.
Named after one of the three Cartier brothers who build the French-founded watch and jewellery firm, there are two references available in the Tank Louis Cartier collection, available in yellow gold with red details or pink gold with blue details. The are both referred to as large models in terms of the case size, which in this collection translates to 34mm long and 25mm wide, measuring a svelte 6.60mm thick. Both references feature polished cases that maintain the same near perfect proportions that Cartier Tank watches are so well known for.
The real excitement this year can be found in the dials of both watches, featuring either a champagne or anthracite sunburst brushed effect that is interrupted by a solid sector of colour that contrasts against the Roman numeral hour markers. The sector of colour matches with the alligator leather strap, while the hands and printed dial details match the same tone as the gold cases. A historical reference for this type of dial (and perhaps in a nod to the collection that is relaunching this year) can be found in several different varieties of Must de Cartier dial from the 1990s.
This was a collection that was first launched in 1976 and saw a creative explosion in the remarkable range of different designs that were produced. While Cartier is lucky to have such a deep archive of inspiring design, it is refreshing to see some inspiration taken from the more recent history of the brand, especially one that was so prolifically creative.
Powering both references within the new Tank Louis Cartier collection is the Manufacture 1917 MC caliber that is manually wound, runs at 21,600vph and was also used in the Tank Asymétrique pieces that were released in 2020. The power reserve is only 38 hours, which means it isn’t going to still be running on Monday if you took it off on Friday, but is more than enough if you don’t wear dress watches on a daily basis.
It’s great to see Cartier injecting more colour into their collection this year and it’s equally exciting that the rampant creativity of the ’80s and ’90s is being celebrated in such a way. The dials are genuinely striking and are quite unlike any other releases in the last few years, making them stand out all the more. Adding a touch of flair to a historical icon is a recipe that has been extremely successful in decades past and I’m sure that these new Tank Louis Cartier will be similarly popular.
Tank Louis Cartier collection price and availability:
The Tank Louis Cartier collection is $19,800AUD and is not limited in production numbers. For more details, visit Cartier right here.
Made in partnership with Cartier. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.