Since the tank was introduced in 1917, countless variations have enriched Cartier’s flagship collection. There is the elegant Tank Cintrée, the windowed Tank, the sophisticated Tank Basculante, or the Tank Asymmetrical with an oblique dial. Although all these models have their fair share of fans, few can boast more than the Tank Chinoise, which is distinguished by crossbars at the top and bottom of the case. This watch was first released in 1922, but has been discontinued since 2004, making it one of watchmakers’ rarest models. On Wednesday, March 30, on the occasion of the Clocks and Wonders trade fair, Cartier announced several innovations, including the big return of the Chinese.
Unlike the Bell or Asymmetrical, the Chinese do not have a particularly atypical shape. The Original Tank, as the name suggests, took the form of tanks of the First World War, while the Chinoise was inspired by the cloisters of Chinese temples. However, the watchmaker was not content with dusting the old versions. The most notable of the two new interpretations features a skeleton dial that reveals the caliber and a pattern inspired by traditional Chinese windows. It is the essence of modern watchmaking in a century-old design. The other Chinoise is beautifully designed the old-fashioned way: the dial remains the same, except for gold, rose gold and platinum.
These innovations are part of the Cartier Privé collection, which annually welcomes reprints of legendary models. After Cloche, Asymmetric and Tonneau, Chinoise made a comeback in stores on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.and birthday. But that’s not all. Here’s an overview of the house’s other innovations.
More good news: new designs are available. Last year Tank dressed in many colors, but this year Cartier has gone all black. There’s the traditional model, the new Tank Louis Cartier, and three new Tank Musts with a more affordable price and striking black dial. The only exception: a Tank Louis Cartier with a red dial that shimmers like freshly made raspberry jam.
a mysterious mass
If the Cartier home has a reputation for being classic and traditional, but also perfectly capable of innovating, proof of that is with the new Masse Mystérieuse. Because no, you are not dreaming: this piece has only half a dial. Even better: the hands are fixed on glass disks and it seems as if they are floating in space by magic.
If so-called “mysterious” wristwatches are new, then mystery watches are not: they were invented 150 years ago by watchmaker Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, who is considered the “father of the magic modern”. In 1912, Cartier also started making mystery watches, and just like this watch, his hands seemed to float in the middle of the device. The watchmaker has also released earlier versions of the mystery wristwatch, but with less successful illusions. With this new model, Cartier has really concentrated the essence of its history in a single wristwatch, but it took almost 8 years, 5 different movements and 3 prototypes to achieve this extraordinary power.
La Pasha: for athletes
No watch collection would be complete without a handful of sporty pieces, and Cartier has long relied on Pasha to attract young collectors obsessed with sports watches. This year the French house doubles down with a sportier Pasha than ever, thanks to a few additional features.
Because Cartier is best known for its clean-line dress watches, many of its models ignore the complications that characterize 2022’s trendiest pieces. Pasha is an opportunity for Cartier to prove that he is also a master at this game. Pasha comes in a number of new versions and offers various options such as chronograph, moonphase complication, tourbillon and skeleton dial. Cartier has also announced three new versions of the Pasha Grille, which resembles a 1943 watch whose dial is adorned with a removable grill and uses a similar grille to remain watertight. Anyway, the design is really cool.
One coat of hairspray and you’re done
Finally, the French watchmaker Santos-Dumont is launching three new versions. This historical watch is a favorite with contemporary collectors such as Tyler, The Creator and Tom Holland. In 1904, the famous Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont made an original request to Louis Cartier: He wanted to be able to read time in flight. The watchmaker granted his wish and thus one of the first wristwatches was born. Today, this iconic clock gets a new lacquer paint. The new models are offered in burgundy, rose gold and Cartier’s color of the year black. Lacquer gives watches a slightly frosted look.
via GQ USA