The Cartier Tank Solo XL Automatic is hardly a “large” watch, but it’s successful in being a contemporary, sufficiently masculine iteration of the plan. At 31mm by 40.85mm and 7.65mm thin, I find the Cartier Tank Solo XL to be a masterpiece of style and proportions and a excellent match for my 6.5″ (17cm) wrist. To get a watch called the Tank with powerful military-associated roots, however, the Cartier Tank is mostly seen as the opposite of a rough-wearing, battlefield watch. The Cartier Tank Solo XL is water-resistant to just 30m, comes on a leather strap, and is almost the wristwatch version of a tuxedo.Calling this version “XL” reminds us that it is still intended as a men’s watch. The basic look of the Cartier Tank has been very popular for women’s watches, which might actually turn some guys off by causing them to view it as female – Ariel discussed this general occurrence in a committed article here. Personally, that isn’t relevant to my own preferences and wearing habits. Further, if you don’t believe Cartier a “real” watch manufacturer since they also produce jewelry – well, then there is likely nothing I can say that can change your mind anyway.To mepersonally, there are three possible issues with the perception of this Cartier Tank. It might be considered 1) female(two) overly formal or old-fashioned( or 3) generic. Yes, such as the Rolex Submariner, say, the Cartier Tank might be criticized as being a victim of its success. It has influenced countless other designs and been imitated endlessly… to the point that its familiarity might almost signify a generic “watch” to people not familiar with watches. The Tank’s recognizability may be good or a bad thing depending upon your view, or it may not matter for you if you enjoy the watch.
Cartier is rarely the first name that comes to mind when it comes to the annals of fine watchmaking, but the French maison has quietly and consistently been bolstering its catalog of super-interesting, high-end models. Case in point: the recently announced Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon – an ambitious, Geneva Seal-certified creation, characterized by its tourbillon complication at 10:00, seemingly floating in space.
The rhythmic illusion of this special Cartier is made possible by its round “rotonde” series case – a lithe, curvaceous new stage for Cartier to showcase its best complications. In this case, we get two in the Calibre 9407 MC: a minute repeater with hardened steel gongs, and the “floating” tourbillon, held in place by a rotating sapphire disc that rotates every five minutes, with the tourbillon itself completing a rotation each 60 seconds. The floating effect is inspired by Cartier’s “mystery” clocks first created in 1912. Perhaps most impressive about the whole package, though, isn’t just the finely tuned auditory notes or visual spectacle, but the sheer technical feat of fitting 448 individually finished components into a case measuring only 11.15mm thick, by 45mm wide.
Minute repeaters and tourbillons represent two of watchmaking’s most challenging feats, so getting them together on a shared and surprisingly wearable stage is a feat in and of itself. But what really just works with the Cartier Watches Yorkdale Replica Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon (try saying that five times fast) is how damned cohesive it all looks – no small task, especially given the levels of complication we’re dealing with. Here, we have black rhodium-finished movement bridges employing contrasting circular graining and Geneva stripes – all collective hallmarks of the Geneva Seal – an ultra-exclusive certification of exemplary quality that fewer than 0.01% of all Swiss watch exports see (you can read all about the Geneva Seal in our in-depth report here). Even in all its complexity and lack of symmetry (notice the de-centered hour and minute hands), however, the dial still finds surprising balance in the negative space occupied by the floating tourbillon.
Activated by a push-piece trigger at 4:00, the minute repeater has been designed around optimizing the four principles of sound to deliver the most pleasing acoustic experience possible. Those considerations start with volume and richness – engineering the Rotonde de Cartier Watch 90490ce Replica case from ultralight titanium while building the square striking gongs out of hardened steel and maximizing the surface area for the transmission of powerful sound vibrations. The timbre, or clarity, of each note was also considered; with the hourly gongs tuned to a B (the 5th octave), and the minutes to a D (6th octave). Lastly, the duration or resonance of the sound itself is preserved through a silent inertia flywheel (visible at 7:00), which regulates the striking speed of the hammers to ensure every strike is as consistent as the last.
If it weren’t for the wordmark on the dial at 12:00 or the signature sapphire cabochon set into the crown, there’s nothing about this watch that screams “Cartier” – which is probably a good thing, particularly for those not yet convinced that the watchmaker is becoming increasingly capable of going toe-to-toe with the likes of the haute horology elite. At the time of writing, the price of the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon watch is $449,400. cartier.com