June 13, 2024

Cartier: Tank Must Collection 2021

When in 1917 the Tank watch was born, Louis Cartier made the distinct aesthetic choice of a rectangular shape, as opposed to the round watches of his generation. Inspired by the design of a combat vehicle viewed from above, this watch follows one clear graphic principle: the brancards were the treads, the case was the turret. For the first time with the Tank, the case attachments were aligned with the strap to maintain the rhythm of the design. 

Wearing it becomes a statement. Vanguard Andy Warhol and his Tank were inseparable, he said about it: “I don’t wear a Tank watch to tell the time. Actually, I never even wind it. I wear a Tank because it is the watch to wear!” 

At Watches and Wonders 2021 Cartier presents the Tank Must collection. Tank and Must, the fusion of two Maison icons: on one hand, Tank, essential and dandy, and on the other, Must, a name immortalised at Cartier in the 1970s that revisits the classic conventions of luxury. The Design Studio has reworked the design of these new Tank Must with monochrome versions and an original version based on a new photovoltaic movement


Inspired by the Tank Louis Cartier, the design of the Tank Must has been developed while staying faithful to the historic model. Rounded brancards and revisited dial proportions. A watch that dares to return to great classicism down to the smallest detail, with a precious pearled cabochon winding crown and the return of a traditional ardillon buckle on the leather strap version. 

Cartier Tank Must

A watchmaking classic from the Maison combined with a steel strap with curved links, entirely redesigned and interchangeable and a new high-efficiency quartz movement with 8 years of autonomy.

Cartier Tank Must


With the launch of the Must watches in 1977, the Tank watch, a Maison watchmaking icon created sixty years earlier, was made available in a vermeil version with a burgundy or all black dial and a large gold-coloured logo.

Cartier Tank Must

Faithful to the spirit of the 80s, the new Tank Must watch is available in three monochromatic colours that are embedded into Cartier’s DNA: red, blue and green. Steel watches that favour minimalist dials with no Roman numerals or “rail-tracks” and a fully chromatic look with matching straps. 

Cartier Tank Must


Since the very beginning, Cartier’s watchmaking ambition has been to constantly strive to improve, relying on technical progress as well as the Maison’s response and commitments to the environment and biodiversity. Pioneering since the invention of the first watch worn on the wrist with the Santos watch (1904), or the one with the folding buckle (1910), Cartier Watchmaking has always been committed to anticipating its clients’ needs. Whether it’s the QuickSwitch patent (2018), which allows straps to be interchanged at home, or the latest photovoltaic dial found on the Tank Must watch, a modern alternative with a quartz movement with no need to change the batteries.

Cartier Tank Must

The challenge lies in applying a new technique to the watch’s aesthetic and shape every time, finding a confluence between modernity and watchmaking tradition. More than simply a production site, the Manufacture is a research hub, a creative and innovative laboratory that has succeeded in applying the photovoltaic principle to the Tank watch’s dial, without altering its aesthetic. A true technical feat that relies on the delicate and invisible perforation of Roman numerals, whose openings allow solar energy to reach the photovoltaic cells hidden under the dial. It took two years for the development team to integrate this SolarBeat movement, with a lifespan of over 16 years, into the Tank Must, the first watch to benefit from this technology.

Cartier Tank Must

The Tank Must also introduces a new bracelet produced in an innovative material composed of around 40% plant matter, produced using waste from apples grown for the food industry in Switzerland, Germany and Italy. 


Created in 1917, the Tank watch very quickly spawned several variations. Louis Cartier reworked its design from as early as 1922. Its case was stretched, brancards refined and edges softened: the Tank L.C. had arrived. (Louis Cartier). A classic was born. 

“Rail tracks”, cabochon sapphire, Roman numerals, Louis Cartier laid the foundations of a signature watchmaking aesthetic.

Cartier Tank Must

In these two versions characterized by the blue and red color, Cartier sublimates some details, such as the Roman numerals and the gold-colored “rail tracks”, which help to enhance the dial’s graphic intensity.

The blue version is in pink gold, the red in yellow gold, both coordinated with the straps, these two watches come with a Manufacture 1917 MC movement with manual winding. 

Cartier Tank Must


To celebrate the launch of these new Tank interpretations in 2021, the Maison is offering a complementary maintenance and repair service to any owner of this watch, regardless of the year it was created. 


All these creations are eligible for the Cartier Care programme, which provides access to exclusive services including, under certain conditions, extending their international guarantee for up to eight years. Furthermore, a personalisation service is available subject to technical feasibility.