Cartier Tank Solo

Discussion in 'Watch Reviews' started by Carl, May 20, 2012.

  1. Carl

    Carl

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    Since getting my Cartier Tank Solo, I have found that there is not a great awareness of it. It is so similar to the Tank Louis Cartier - in fact the dial is pretty much identical - that I think it gets confused with that model. I think a lot of real Cartier WISs stay clear of it, because it has a quartz movement. That didn't stop me, although I must admit it did hold me back for a while. Now, I have absolutely no second thoughts.

    The Tank Cartier was created by Louis Cartier in 1917. Its lines and proportions are similar to those of tanks found in the First World War. It was inspired by the new Renault tanks which Cartier saw in use on the Western Front. There have been many variations of the Tank since then. The most recent version of the Tank is the Tank Fran├žaise, released in 1996. For an excellent history of the Cartier Tank, please see this thread at Revo Online, presented by Geo, the forum moderator. It would be difficult to find a more comprehensive a well written history of this great timepiece:

    http://revo-online.com/forums/main/read.php?33,1006438,1006438#msg-1006438

    Here is a brief history of the Tank, mostly taken from the Cartier website:

    "The Tank solo watch introduces a fresh interpretation of the "original" classic Tank watch.
    Cartier launched the Tank solo watch in 2004. This new model presents a fresh look at the essential elements of the Tank watch collection: contemporary but definitively Cartier.
    Its ultra thin profile gives the Tank Solo watch its distinctive character.
    While the roman numerals, rail-track minute Diapositive circle, crown and sword-shaped hands make this model an authentic Cartier Tank watch, its ultra flat glass accentuates the striking modernity and elegance of the Tank Solo model."

    By using a quartz movement, Cartier is able to keep the ultra thin profile, at 5.5mm. It is also able to keep the cost of the watch down, as the only other movement that would allow the thin profile is a mechanical manual wind movement, and that would make the watch more expensive. I believe that another reason for introducing the Tank Solo, is to make a Cartier watch affordable to those who would not normally be able to afford one. Kudos to Cartier, as there is nothing about this watch that I feel compromises traditional Cartier quality.

    The Tank Solo most closely resembles the Tank Louis Cartier. The main difference is that the Tank Solo has a completely flat case top, including the tops of the lugs. On the Tank LC, the lug tops are slightly rounded. As Cartier says, the Solo in a more modern interpretation, but when it's on the wrist, it is very difficulat to tell it from the Tank LC.

    The Tank Solo is available in:
    stainless steel, with either a black round-scale alligator-skin strap with steel double adjustable deployment buckle or steel bracelet - or -
    18K yellow gold case, stainless steel back, with a black round-scale alligator-scale strap with 18K gold ardillon tang buckle

    Both are available in Small: 31mm x 24.4mm. 5.5mm thickness with Cartier Caliber 157 quartz movement - and - Large: 34.8mm x 27.4mm with Cartier Caliber 690 quartz movement. Neither movement has a date function.

    Mine is the large stainless steel model with the alligator strap:

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    The visible part of the clasp on the deployment looks great, very flat and low profile in keeping with the profile of the case:

    [​IMG]

    The Tank Solo in stainless steel comes with the deployment clasp, which turns out to be very comfortable. It takes a while to get the strap set up properly, as it has to be folded, pinched and put into place within the clasp. I was doubtful at first, but the strap is excellent quality and very durable. Not the clearest photos, sorry:

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    An exellent view of the simple, sword-shaped, blued hands. This pic also shows very well the beautiful lacquered Roman numerals, which seem to pop off the dial:

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    And here is a good view of the crown, with the synthetic blue cabochon:

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    A few more wrist shots:

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    After wearing this watch now for a few weekends, the novelty still has not worn off. I haven't actually seen any others in the wild since I got mine. The watch does not even feel small. Matter of fact, I did try on the small size as well, and would certainly not be ashamed to wear it.

    I was wondering how it would be having a watch with a quartz movement. The watch is so beautiful, that I hardly consider the movement. It is an excellent Cartier inhouse movement. Cartier uses quartz movements in many of their watches, including a lot of very expensive gold pieces:

    [​IMG]

    Loving the looks and feel of this watch. I thought many times of finding a couple of other straps to change it up a bit. However, when I see how the black brings out the Roman Numerals on the dial so well, I don't think I will change it, at least not for a while.

    I would not change a thing about this little gem! Thanks for reading and looking.

    Cheers,
    Carl

    [​IMG]
  2. Six String

    Six String

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    Congratulations on a beautiful watch. The design is absolutely classic. My daughter and wife both own the small model and love them.
  3. Carl

    Carl

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    Thanks, Chris. I think I remember a post of yours quite a while back, you were mentioning getting the Tank Solo for either your wife or daughter.
    I actually tried on the small size as well. I am not in the least bit afraid to wear a smaller watch. In the end, I just thought the larger size looked better on my wrist.
    For some time, I have been contemplating my first gold watch. I am thinking it may well be the Tank Solo as well.

    Cheers :cheers:
    Carl
  4. marry smith

    marry smith

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    Cartier Tank Solo watches are a part of the Tank series of Cartier watches which first appeared in 1917, inspired by actual tanks on the western front of World War I. Carrying a precise and durable quartz movement, the Cartier Tank Solo is available in steel and gold, in both mens and ladies sizes. These elegant yet simple designs are known for their thin cases and subtle profile, making an tasteful addition to any occassion.
  5. john davis

    john davis

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    I have nurtured a fascination for Watches since I was 10, when my dad presented me with a simple manual-wind Favre Leuba with a plain white dial. Watches are a marvel of workmanship. There is no substitute for the hand-made wonders from the Swiss Jura region, such as the watches from Audemars Piguet (AP).
    AP's Royal Oak line is classic. And I love their minute repeater. But when it came time to buy, I fell for their contemporary collection--a Millenary. And wear it with pride once every few days. The quality of the movement is top-notch, and the precision is mind-boggling. The showroom in London has a great selection. Go check out the pricey watches with grand complications.