Like other luxury houses, Cartier replica is in the habit of using watch fair season to launch their wildest and most expensive novelties. This year was no exception, as the brand’s exclusive and ultra-luxe Privé Collection saw the re-introduction of the Cloche de Cartier, one of their most design forward models, in a range of precious metals, diamonds optional.
But Cartier hasn’t forgotten about the rest of us, and they introduced a range of options at Watches & Wonders for customers looking for an entry point into the brand with a smaller budget. The clear winner, in my opinion, was the totally unexpected and completely charming SolarBeat Cartier Tank Must replica with steel case, the first solar powered watch made by Cartier.
In addition to being the answer to a watch trivia question for the rest of time, the SolarBeat Tank Must (part of a larger relaunch of value oriented “Must” lineup that also includes traditional quartz Tanks in a variety of bright colors, sans Roman numerals) is one of the most genuinely interesting Tanks to hit the market in years. The top quality copy Cartier Tank, as a design object, transcends watches, and imitators can be found at all price points from countless brands, but if you want the real thing, you’ve got to spring for Cartier, and now that you can get one powered by a solar cell, it’s a whole lot more compelling for a consumer who wants the craft, the legendary name on the dial, and iconic design without any real compromise.
Cartier says that their solar powered Tank can go sixteen years between service stops, which is fantastic news if you’re only an occasional dress watch wearer. And there’s something poetic about the Roman numerals, a feature that to me is as important to the Tank aesthetic as its rectangular shape and ultrathin profile, being the vector through which light hits the photovoltaic charging system beneath the dial. It’s an invisible but functional design feature that would seem to signal the possibility of a tech oriented path ahead for this most traditional brand. Priced at $2,480 for the smaller version and $2,610 for the large, these Swiss movements copy Cartier Tanks have the potential to draw a whole new crop of watch lovers to the Cartier camp.