Cartier Tank: a gift that stands the test of time

9 February 2022
By Fashion Quarterly

To love is to give time. Here’s why the reissue of one of Cartier’s most iconic watches is a must-have to gift yourself, or a loved one this Valentine’s Day.

Love, as defined by author Dr. Gary Chapman, can be expressed in a multitude of ways — that is, the five love languages to be exact: words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, gifts, and time. Many could then say that it’s rather fitting — symbolic even — that the gift of a classic timepiece can stand to represent much more than meets the eye. Beyond its time-telling abilities, a wristwatch can signify a partnership, a bond, and an all-enduring love between both timepiece and wearer, gift-giver and receiver. Because to love, is to give time. And what better token of love and time is there than an iconic wristwatch steeped in history, like the Cartier Tank. 

The revered jewellery and haute horlogerie house Cartier is synonymous with love. The emotion is the expression of the brand’s design vision — naming its most popular jewellery collection after love, itself. “[Love] is part of our DNA. If you look at our history, our values, they are directly associated with love… there is no ambiguity about that…” said Cartier’s chief marketing officer Anaud Carrez on the release of the brand’s recent short film Love is All

And beyond this vision, and innate devotion to love, is Cartier’s unique spirit of quality craftsmanship, timelessness and innovation. Enter the restoration of the Tank Must: the 1970 take on Cartier’s horological icon, Tank — and a timepiece well-favoured by Andy Warhol — which once again joins the Maison’s line-up of fine timepieces. Encouraged to be “swapped between lovers” the genderless timepiece is the Maison’s most elegant and self-assured statement to date of Cartier’s longstanding watchmaking commitment to progress. 

Pure, precise and with elegance embodied, Cartier revisits the Tank Must’s classic conventions of luxury with the future in mind. Cartier Manufacture — the Maison’s research hub and creative and innovative laboratory — found success in modifying the mechanics of the Tank Must, while conserving its sleek and elegant aesthetic. A true technical feat, the SolarBeatTM movement enables solar energy to reach the photovoltaic cells hidden under the timepiece’s dial, via a delicate perforation of the face’s roman numerals.

And while the Tank Must is the Maison’s first watch to benefit from the new photovoltaic movement, the strap too, introduces a new material composed from 40% plant matter. Staying true to the Maison’s European heritage, the innovative strap material is a by-product of the apple industry, with waste from fruit grown in Switzerland, Germany and Italy transformed into a leather-like textile. The result is the reduction of a single strap’s carbon footprint (6 times less), saving water (up to 10 litres), and energy (up to 7 megajoules) when compared to that of its calfskin counterpart. 

Much like love knows no bounds, Cartier’s most celebrated timepiece once again defies the notions of traditional haute horlogerie, restoring an iconic aesthetic with the innovation of modern technology. But this is only the beginning for Cartier’s Tank Must. The Maison signature’s evolution is limitless. 

Discover the Cartier Tank Must at Partridge Jewellers and online at partridgejewellers.com

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