We take a closer look at the reintroduction of the Must de Cartier line. We fell in love with the inexpensive alternative offered by the brand.
For those of you like me who adore the Cartier Tank, you will at some point I am sure fell in love with the inexpensive alternative offered by the brand, the Must De Cartier Tank. These vintage offerings could, and to an extent can be picked up for about half the price of the ‘regular’ tanks.
Coming in at sizes around 31mm across and usually featuring plated cases, I would imagine have put off the vast majority of the Tank fans out there. Whilst I understand that this probably has allowed them to stay affordable, it has also allowed people who love the iconic design to own and love a piece of watchmaking history.
The Must De Cartier Reboot
Recently it was watch Christmas for all of us watch geeks, and as you can tell by the title of this article, Cartier has hit many, many home runs. Maybe their biggest of the week is a reintroduction of the Must de Cartier line.
Considering this is now the watch that I want more than anything else, let’s take a look at what Cartier has given us. Coming in three distinctive dial colours of Burgundy, Green, and Blue and featuring a very simple dial, I think these are superb.
The antithesis of a dress watch is a watch that really is only loosely meant to tell the time. The whole premise of not wearing a watch with a black-tie stems from this. The idea is that if you are at a highbrow black-tie event, you should be so immersed in the frivolity of the evening that the fact that it is 2:30 am and you should probably be heading home to your family should be paled into insignificance by the grandeur of the event.
Whilst this is a fairly antiquated practice, and one that I certainly cannot comply with given the fact that I feel naked not wearing a watch is part of the reason why the Must De Cartier is so great.
It features a dial that is beyond plain. The lacquered dials are interrupted by a minute and hour hand and the Cartier logo. That’s it. No minute track, no date window, and for a Tank purist like me, no seconds hand. Whilst you may be sitting there thinking that would render the watch illegible in terms of telling the time, I feel that the sort of people buying this watch is not going to be hampered by a lack of hour markers on the dial.
The other bone of contention is that these three new models have been released with quartz movements. Now if you are a follower of ours and our podcast, you will know that whilst I am a huge fan of automatic and manual wind pieces, I am one of the few people who like quartz.
The culmination of which is that I have always viewed Cartier as a design brand. Whilst some models have featured movements from the likes of Piaget and JLC, the ethos of the brand is the unapologetically classic design. If you think I am being ridiculous, one of the most legendary wearers of the Tank is quoted as saying the following about it, which frankly says it all…
“I don’t wear a Tank to tell the time. In fact, I never wind it. I wear a Tank because it’s the watch to wear.” Andy Warhol
As I mentioned previously, this model comes in three dial colours. It features a stainless steel case with a cabochon crown in the matching colour to the dial. The measurements whilst slightly long lug to lug (41mm) are still a perfect size for a Tank, and whilst possibly are increased slightly for the modern market, still ooze classic Tank.
The Must De Cartier is also a production model! So none of that Limited Edition twaddle, and comes in at a very reasonable £1,973. If you are either a huge fan of the vintage Must De Cartier Tanks, but are put off by the vintage factor of the plated cases, OR are a person who needs a true dress watch that gets worn two or three times a year and you do not want to worry about having to wind it regularly, this is the watch for you.
It also goes without saying that if you (like me) do not fall firmly into either of these two camps, you are still allowed to love and buy this watch!
They are absolutely beautiful in my opinion, and if anyone would like to buy me the blue dial version then you will become my favourite person ever. If that isn’t an incentive I don’t know what is. Well done Cartier, well done indeed…