Rare Pre-Must model in vermeil
About this watch
Cartier introduced the Tank in 1917. The design of the Tank was inspired by the Renault FT-17 tanks: Cartier took the look of this tank’s treads and applied it to the lugs, which were integrated via brancards into the case itself.
Plenty happened with Cartier and the Tank during the middle part of the twentieth century, and it would be impossible to write an exhaustive history of every Tank variation here. The Tank Louis Cartier was introduced in 1922, and it represents the quintessence of all the Cartier Tanks.
This model was not immediately named after its maker, Louis Cartier. It was first named “Tank à Bords Arrondis”, but probably for simplification purposes, it was renamed Tank Louis Cartier or Tank LC in 1924. With its frank Art Deco appearance, handsomely-aged rectangular dial, crisp Roman numerals, and blued steel sword hands, this model is the benchmark for all Cartier Tank models.
During almost 100 years, the Tank Louis Cartier has been fitted with many different movements, including European Watch & Clock calibers at the beginning (EWC was a joint venture company created by Cartier and Edmond Jaeger in the 1920s), Jaeger Lecoultre, ETA, Audemars Piguet, Frédéric Piguet…
During the 1970s, a drastic revolution in the organization of the Group was conducted by Alain Dominique Perrin, the new CEO. In 1977, A. D. Perrin decided to launch the Must de Cartier Collection, which represented a massive hit. The new “Must” Tanks were a huge success: they paid tribute to the original Tank Louis Cartier in terms of aesthetic and size, but they were proposed in vermeil (silver gold-plated), with mechanical or quartz movements, dozens of dials types, at a more affordable price, and with a broader distribution worldwide.
Most of them (if not all of them after a first transitional period of time) had the name “Must de Cartier” printed on their dial. Only a very few have been proposed with a “Paris dial”. They were mechanical, fitted with the 78 caliber. Actually the only difference with the Tank Louis Cartier 78086 reference is that they are not in solid gold but in vermeil, which makes them less “precious”, but much rarer.
This example is one of these rare Pre-Must models, in perfect condition and full set, with its original box and papers dated from July 1977.