Since the launch of the Tank in 1917, Cartier’s flagship collection has seen countless variations. These are the elegant Tank Cintrée, the Tank with windows, the refined Tank Basculante and the Tank Asymmetric with beveled dials. While all of these models have their fans, few can boast more than the Tank Chinoise, which features crossbars at the top and bottom of the hull. This watch was first introduced in 1922 but has not been produced since 2004, making it one of the watchmaker’s rarest models. On Wednesday, March 30, on the occasion of the Watches and Wonders exhibition, Cartier announced several new products, including the big return of the Chinese.
Unlike the Bell or Asymmetrical, the Chinese does not have a particularly atypical shape. While the original Tank, as the name suggests, is shaped like World War I tanks, the Chinese style is inspired by the porticoes of Chinese temples. But the watchmaker did not limit himself to erasing dust from old versions. The most notable of the two new interpretations features a skeletonized dial showing the caliber and a pattern inspired by traditional Chinese windows. This is the very essence of modern watchmaking, embodied in a century-old design. The other Chinoise is beautifully decorated in an old-fashioned style: the dial is the same, except that it is made of gold, rose gold and platinum.
These novelties are part of the Cartier Privé collection, which is replenished every year with reissues of legendary models. Following the Cloche, Asymmetric and Tonneau, the Chinoise returns to stores on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.as well as birthday. But that’s not all. Here is an overview of other novelties of the house.
Another good news: new designs are available. Last year, the Tank was dressed in a variety of colors, but this year, Cartier has opted for black in its entirety. This is a new traditional Tank Louis Cartier model and three new Tank Musts models at a more affordable price and with a striking black dial. The only exception is the Tank Louis Cartier, with its iridescent red dial like freshly made raspberry jam.
If the House of Cartier has a reputation for being classic and traditional, it is also great at innovating, as evidenced by its new Masse Mystérieuse. Because no, you are not sleeping: this model has only half of the dial. Even better: the hands are fixed on glass discs and, as if by magic, float in space.
If the so-called “mysterious” watches have appeared recently, then the mysterious watches are not new: they were invented 150 years ago by the watchmaker Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin, who is considered the “father of modern magic”. In 1912, Cartier also began making mysterious clocks, and like this clock, their hands seemed to float in the center of the device. The watchmaker also produced earlier versions of the mystery wristwatch, but with less successful illusions. With this new model, Cartier has truly captured the essence of its history in one wristwatch, but it took almost 8 years, 5 different movements and 3 prototypes to achieve this mastery.
La Pasha: for athletes
No watch collection would be complete without a few sporty style pieces, and Cartier has long relied on Pasha to capture the attention of young sports watch-obsessed collectors. This year, the French house is doubling down with the Pasha, which is sportier than ever thanks to a few extra features.
As Cartier is best known for its clean-lined business suit watches, most of its designs ignore the complications of 2022’s hottest designs. Pasha is an opportunity for the house of Cartier to prove that it is also a connoisseur of this game. The Pasha comes in several new versions and has various options such as a chronograph, moon phase complications, a tourbillon and a skeleton dial. Cartier also announced three new versions of its Pasha Grille, which features a detachable grille on the dial, reminiscent of a 1943 watch that used a similar grille to remain watertight. Anyway, its design is really cool.
A coat of hairspray and you’re done
Finally, the French watch company releases three new versions of Santos-Dumont. This historic watch is a favorite of modern collectors such as Tyler, the Creator and Tom Holland. In 1904, the famous Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont approached Louis Cartier with an original request: he wanted to be able to determine the time in flight. The watchmaker granted his wish, and one of the first wristwatches was born. Today, this iconic watch is getting a new coat of lacquer paint. The new models are available in burgundy, rose gold and Cartier’s color of the year: black. The lacquer gives the watch a slightly matte look.
Via GQ USA