Cost Of Entry: Cartier Watches


We do not need to tell you that Cartier is one of the world’s most famous luxury brands. Although I like the way this series as a brand of research rather than how to buy a famous name with the least amount of money … Cartier’s reputation and recognition is undoubtedly a great attraction to many people around the world. Cartier has made a very cohesive identity and consistent range of products, but does the Cartier Tank Solo XL fit? In this article, we would like to see if the Cartier Tank Solo XL offers value, history, watches, style, and more This is the essence of Cartier.


Short History Of The Cartier Tank

Founded in Paris, France, by Louis-François Cartier in 1847, Cartier as a company will be 170 years old in 2017, but is no longer a small family-run jeweler, of course. The three grandsons of the founder were Louis, Pierre, and Jacques, and together they oversaw Cartier’s expansion to become a globally recognized name – Louis being the most central to our story. The next Cartier generation, the children of the three brothers, sold the business in the 1970s to an investor group. And finally, in 2012, Cartier joined the Richemont Group where it resides today among illustrious colleagues of haute horlogerie.


Entire books have been written about Cartier and even about the Cartier Tank watch itself, and the basic story that Louis Cartier based the Tank design on the shape of WWI tanks seen on the Western Front is probably familiar to many readers. Cartier made clocks, pocket watches, and women’s wristwatches before wristwatches for men began to catch on – and when men did begin to wear wristwatches, Cartier played a major role in their wider adoption and the Cartier Tank was an important part of the transition from pocket to wrist.

The first wristwatch for men is sometimes said to be the Cartier Santos from 1904, designed by Louis Cartier – at least, this began to help popularize men’s wristwatches. It was certainly one of the earliest watches designed as a wristwatch, rather than a pocket watch adapted with straps for the wrist, or “strap watch.” Called a “silly ass fad” by some around the early part of the 1900s (which I find delightful), men’s wristwatches still needed time to be accepted by the mainstream. In 1916, The New York Times admitted that wristwatches were more than a passing fad, and WWI saw soldiers beginning to strap watches to their wrists for practical reasons.


Louis Cartier (1875–1942) designed a number of watches that are still part of Cartier’s lineup today, including the Santos, Tank, and Tortue. At that time Louis perhaps thought that the future of wristwatches meant non-round cases. This would also help distinguish them from the round pocket watches that had simply been adapted for the wrist. The first Cartier Tank watch was created in 1917 and the story goes that those initial models were given to General John Pershing of the American Expeditionary Force and his officers. In 1919, a total of six Tank watches were produced, but an icon had been created.

Part of the Tank’s history is the many significant 20th century figures who have prominently worn it. We won’t (can’t) list them all here, but monarchs, politicians, and true icons of sports and music have helped the tank achieve its status and are testament to its success. And these were not “brand ambassadors” as we know them today, but true fans of the watch – or those just following a trend, like Andy Warhol, who apparently didn’t even keep it wound on his wrist…


Cartier Tank watches have included a range of movements over their history, and the earliest versions used manually wound Jaeger movements. The first Cartier Tanks were somewhat stouter than the perfectly (in my opinion) refined proportions of the Tank we know today, best exemplified by the Tank Louis Cartier that was first introduced in 1922. I have been unable to pinpoint exactly when the predominance of Breguet pomme-style hands gave way to the sword-shaped hands most prevalent on Cartier watches today. Though technically a more recent model, the modern Cartier Tank Solo XL is similar in design to the Tank Louis Cartier and does a good job, I feel, of representing its heritage.

The Cartier Tank Solo XL Automatic

Cartier’s current Tank collection comprises six models: Anglaise, Americaine, Française, Louis Cartier, MC, and Solo. Once again, the Cartier Tank Solo XL Automatic in steel on a leather strap represents the brand’s most affordable mechanical men’s watch. For the record, the least expensive men’s watch overall is – no, not the quartz Tank Solo, but the Cartier Ronde Solo quartz watch seen below at around $2,600. With a 36mm-wide (6.6mm-thick) steel case (30m water-resistant), the Cartier Ronde Solo quartz watch is small for a lot of modern men’s tastes but is simple, without fuss, and still offers a lot what many people want from Cartier.


The Cartier Tank Solo XL Automatic watch was introduced in 2012 and added a larger, mechanical alternative to the quartz Tank Solo. The Cartier Tank Solo XL Automatic features the automatic Cartier 049 calibre, which is an ETA 2892. This common movement seems appropriate and welcome for an entry-level model and is considered more premium than, say, an ETA 2824. The 2892 is known to offer about 42 hours of power reserve and operate at a frequency of 4Hz. Automatic winding, central seconds hand, and date at 6 o’clock are welcome modern features.


Standard modern high-end watch, anti-reflective sapphire crystal protection dial, crown synthetic spinel convex round is essentially changed from the earliest tanks. The dial is Cartier’s silver-plated opal, which offers a smooth black background with the Cartier Roman numerals without any dazzling reflex obstacle to legibility.


Cartier Tank Solo XL Auto is almost a “big” watch, but it is successful as a more modern, enough masculine iterative design. 31mm 40.85mm and 40.85mm thin, I found the Cartier Tank Solo XL is the masterpiece of nature, proportions and a great fit for my 6.5 “(17 cm) wrist. A look called the strong tank of military-associated origin, However, the Cartier Tank is mainly regarded as the rough-wearing opposite the watch on the battlefield. Cartier Tank Solo XL is only 30 meters waterproof, belt, almost watch the tuxedo.