Cartier Tank MC: The Bolder Tank

The Cartier Tank was the watch to own in the 20th century. Inspired by World War I armoire, the Tank rejected the sensual Art Nouveau style so popular at the time, in favor of elegant, pure lines. Its no-frills modern design became a hit among fashion savants, royalty, serious collectors, and jazz age elite.

Over the decades, the original Tank has been joined by many beautiful variations – such as the Tank Louis Cartier, the Tank Américaine, and the Tank Française – all bearing its slightly decadent Parisian elegance.

In 2013, the Maison’s iconic design took on a resolutely masculine edge. Cartier answered the call for larger watches with the Tank MC – with its strong dimensions and modern movement, it presented a bolder take on the classic.

 

Cartier Tank MC and Tank MC Chronograph

 

Modern size and form

The Tank MC gives the classic style of the Tank a more sportive edge. Generously sized at 34.3mm wide, 44mm tall, and 9.5mm thick, it has more wrist presence than previous versions of the Tank but without being overpowering.

The classic Cartier character remained with its brancards, flinqué dial, Roman numerals, and blue spinel cabochon, but with added heft on the wrist. Cartier makes sure that each variation of the Tank offers something unique, and for the Tank MC, it’s the thicker side flanks, more-square-than-usual case and curved top that appears to wrap around the wrist.

 

Cartier Tank MC variations

 

The finish is also impressive, with the bridges and base plate bearing a straight-grained surface that catches light.

Cartier also decided to have a bit of fun with different dial colors and a choice between stainless steel and 18k rose gold. The classic silver dial is paired with the signature blued steel hands, while darker dials either have rose gold or stainless steel hands to match the body. The sub-seconds at 6 o’clock is a neat complication that gives the dial an added masculine touch.

 


 

Modern movement

Aside from its modern dimensions, what really sets the Tank MC apart from the rest of the Tank family is its in-house movement. “MC” stands for “Manufacture Cartier”, and refers to the fact that inside the watch is an in-house made caliber – the 1904 MC automatic movement, previously made available only on the Calibre de Cartier collection.

 

Cartier Tank MC case back (photo: Cartier)

 

The movement operates at 4 Hz offering a 48-hour power reserve; and drives the time together with the subsidiary seconds dial and the date.

Part of the Tank MC’s allure is the sapphire crystal display caseback, which shows off the caliber – a trait only seen on Cartier watches with in-house movements.

 


 

Complications

Cartier also used the Tank MC line in trying to appeal to hardcore watch lovers. Aside from the basic time-and-date model, the Tank MC was also offered with a chronograph and skeleton dial version.

The Tank MC Skeleton became part of their high-end watchmaking line, bearing the open-worked numerals that have become the signature of Cartier’s skeleton models, such as the Santos and the Rotonde. This stripped-back execution reveals the 9611 MC caliber, a manual-wind movement with double barrels and a practical 72-hour power reserve.

 

Cartier Tank MC Chronograph in Steel and Tank MC Skeleton in Palladium

 

Cartier’s ingenuity doesn’t end there. The Tank MC Skeleton is cased in ultra-rare palladium, a heavy white metal that comes with a muted sheen, is more resistant to scratches and is said to be 30 times rarer than gold.

These offerings combined make the Tank MC the ultimate example of Cartier’s contemporary design language at work.

 


 

With its modern size, design and movement, the Cartier Tank MC appeals to any wrist that’s looking for something on the bolder side. Explore our collection of Cartier Tank MC watches at SwissWatchExpo.com.

 

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