Cartier has more legendary tanks to show you
The watch world has at least something in common with Hollywood: glitz and glamor and big stars—Submariner, Royal Oak, Tank—new blockbuster releases. Both industries also share a passion for reboots or sequels—all-powerful intellectual property. This obsession has gone stale in Hollywood, but in the field of watches, there is little that is more exciting than a nice resurgence. Case in point: Cartier reintroduces the OG Tank, the Normale.
The brand has been revitalizing models for seven years now through the Cartier Privé program, which has re-introduce the bell-shaped ClocheAsymétrique leans, Crash needs no introduction, and China last year. This year, that honor goes to the Normale, the first Tank designed by Louis Cartier in 1917.
Although the Normale is the original, its shape is slightly different from the 2023 Tank, which is based on the more rectangular Louis Cartier. The original is more stocky: square like a Chadian jaw, with a sturdier case than the typical LC. This version of the Tank is not produced in large numbers, so the revival will be extremely interesting for many collectors.
There’s a lot to unpack with the new Normale. Here are some of my favorite things about it.
- Yellow gold is the base version of the new Normale. But the real prize, for me, is the platinum model. Vintage platinum Normales are coveted at auction.
- Platinum has dominated—so heavy and substantial, it really feels like it’s worth the money—but Cartier went ahead and added some special touches to this version to make it stand out. different from other Boost Clocks. Take the needle example: most Tanks have “matte” hands, but on the Normale they are “polished gray steel”. Also…
- RUBY CABOCHON! Most Tanks have a cabochon—the gem protruding from the winding crown—made of sapphire. The ruby on the platinum Normale makes it instantly recognizable. A beautiful shade of red always seems to signal something special in the world of watches: think about Rolex SeaDweller Double Red or Tudor Pelagos 39. Cartier does not apply the principle of pressing the red button to the dial but the cabochon is very tight.
- While the yellow gold and platinum versions of the Normale are an honest tribute to the 1917 version, Cartier is also taking this watch into the future. The other side of this new collection is the trio of bezels (so you can see the mechanism normally hidden by the dial) Normales. One is set with 42 diamonds—enough to turn even the most reserved collector into Fred Flinstone yabba-dabba-dooing.