Watch Talk: Tank Must – More Accessible Cartier Tank in 2021


In April 2021, Cartier announced Tank Must collection. Tank Must 2021 pays direct homage to Must de Cartier Tank, which was started to produce in 1977.

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A good vintage – Must de Cartier Tank

Must de Cartier Tank was known as an accessible Tank after Quartz Crisis. As one of the popular vintage watches, Must de Cartier Tank is well-known in the watch market even now. Its design is so classic, and is similar with Tank Louis Cartier rather than Tank Solo. It has many color and dial variations and characteristically, Must de Cartier Tank wasn’t cased in 18K nor platinum, cased in “Vermeil”. Vermeil is basically composed of sterling silver (SV925) with gold coating.

Must de Cartier Tank in Vermeil case – owned by the author.

Tank Must 2021 is cased in stainless steel, having some of color variations.

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As Must de Cartier Tank was produced from 1977 to 1980s, it had lots of variations in the dial, color, indices. Though Tank Must 2021 is just unveiled this year with a few variations now, we may also see much more variations if people accept this collection.

The SolarBeat Movement

There is an another feature which makes us surprised, we can access SM and LM model with solar-powered movement.

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In fact, this is the first time for Cartier to use solar-powered movement on their collection. Cartier said that they spent 2 years to develop SolarBeat movement. Photovoltaic cells are set under the dial having invisible perforations, SolarBeat movement will survive 16 years as an average life span.

Not only that, they explained that they used non-animal leather strap for this model. It is produced from scraps of apples grown for the food industry in Europe. As one of the leather craftsmen, I am simply interested in the durability of non-animal leather. I hope I will have an opportunity to test them in a certain way, just because my curiosity…

Comparison with Must de Cartier Tank Series

When watch brands reproduce their historic model, the dimensions often will be bigger.

For example, Omega Seamaster 1948 (511. went to 38mm from 36mm, Longines Heritage 1945 (L2.813.4.66.0) went to 40mm from 37mm. (Introduced in this article.)

Then, what about Tank Must 2021?

Just looking at the comparison, XL size is fairly getting bigger. Other than that, SM and LM are comparably sized up, not extremely. With thinking the fact that Tank Must 2021 retains a minimalist styling like Tank Normale, I wonder that XL size with a second hand and date indicator is too much, but SM and LM are looking like best references in 2021.

Additionally, 2021 Tank Must SM and LM sizes are completely same with Tank Louis Cartier sizes.

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As Tank LC only has Yellow gold and Pink gold cases, it would be a good choice for people who want silver-colored case unless you don’t have much enthusiasm to a manual winding movement.

Since 2020, we saw just Tank Solo in the current Tank collection as an accessible watch. 2021, we got a new choice, Tank Must, which is the timepiece connected to the most historical design of Tank.