Originally Posted by Cylon
I am loving all the action in here of late...well most of it
1. From a Hermes watch to a gold Panerai with a radioactive green strap...YIKES.
Quite a few people have already expounded on the direction I was heading, but I would definitely rather commit a quartz "mistake" with a Cartier Tank than that Hermes. I consider Cartier a jeweler first, and a watchmaker second but Dino944's Tank certainly made me challenge my preconceptions there. Whatever you think about Cartier, that its more for ladies or the price you must pay for the Cartier name, his is a beautiful first-rate timepiece. I too cannot wait to see the 3rd VC you have in your pocket slowly killing us as we wait, because the two you have already presented us are very interesting, unique choices. They strike me as carefully selected, and are an absolute pleasure to look at. I look forward to reading your posts whether pics or info.
Cartier is probably one of the most under rated and under appreciated watch companies in the world. They truly were at the forefront in moving from pocket watches to wrist watches. Some of it may have to do with their fame for making jewelry for royalty and celebrities. However, they have made lasting quality pieces often using the finest movements available, from EWC, Jaeger, JLC, Piaget, F. Piguet, THA, to name a few. Mention the Cartier Tortue Mono-Poussoir (Single Pusher Chronograph) and you will find it is a watch that is highly respected even among watch snobs that are usually only interested in Patek, AP, VC, and Lange. A few relatives of mine that own some really nice Pateks, Langes, and JLCs, were trying to located a Tortue single pusher chrono or Tank XL before production ended. Cartier has often used a multi tier approach to watches, something that Rolex did and maybe protected their brand name a little by selling their lesser line of ETA powered watches under the name Tudor. Cartier allowed people that did not want to spend huge money on a watch to still own a Cartier buy selling a Les Must line and also by using ETA movements in their more ordinary models. However, I think you will find that most of the more classic and higher end pieces, have used very high grade movements. In addition, almost any pre-1970 Cartier is in very high demand by collectors, and Cartier itself has a standing offer to buy them back from anyone that owns one. In addition, many of the recent CPCP pieces are quite coveted and owners often get unsolicited offers to buy.
I don't think they should have offered quartz movements in their Tank, or a lesser watch like a Tank Solo. However, I think our generation is quick to forget that in the 1970s and 1980s most great brands offered their watches with a quartz movement and it was uncertain in the 1980s if automatics and manual winds would still be around in a few years. Patek, AP, VC, IWC, Rolex, Piaget, etc were all making quartz models to meet the demand for the latest technology. There were Patek Calatravas, Nautilus, AP ROs, IWC Igeniur SLs, and Datejusts availble and regularly sold with quartz movements. It was only really in the late 1980s early 1990s that manual wind and automatics came back into favor. Can you imagine, that in the early 1980s vintage manual winds were so unpopular that people could easily buy a Patek, AP, or VC Perpetual Calendar Chronograph for about $2,000-3,000 USD (or back then the equivalent of a steel and gold Submariner)? Now those pieces are well into six figures.
As for women's watches, none of the major companies other than Rolex, offer a large number of automatic or manual wind watches for women. The ladies market at least for the last 20+ years is still strongly in favor of quartz watches. Maybe its that most women just aren't that interested in watches so its mostly jewelry for them. Check with most manufacturers and the bulk of offerings for ladies from AP, JLC, Patek, VC etc are quartz. Sure there are a few hand wound pieces but not many. Its a problem my wife often has issues with. She will only buy a manual or automatic watch so it limits her choices.
Cartier may not appeal to everyone but hopefully seeing a few interesting pieces will open peoples minds to the fantastic pieces they've made that may have been overslooked in the past. I have a relatively rare steel and platinum Cartier Pasha Chronograph that I will try to post some photos of soon. Maybe I should save the VC posting for over the weekend or beginning of next week.
Originally Posted by akatsuki
The Cartier Tank is a pretty respected design in watch circles with endless tradition (it is actually inspired by Renault tanks from WWI), although the movement quality has varied over the years. Cartier decided to get real about it and start making an in-house movement which you can see in the Calibre de Cartier.
While Cartier has offered some quartz versions of the Tank, the classic manual wind Tank and its variations (Tank Cintree, Tank Obus, Tank Chinoise) have always used very high grade movements from very respected makers. They are making a lot of their own movements for higher end pieces. But we should also be mindful that even brands like Patek, AP, and VC have not exclusively made all of their own movements. They have used movements from Lemania, JLC, and F. Piguet. Patek only recently stopped using outsourced movements in their chronographs (their 5070 and 5970 both used a Lemania base also used in some VC chronographs).
Anyone want to guess what brand supplied the same base movement to Patek, AP, and VC, and never used that same movement in their own product?