The existence of the Tank MC Chronograph, that we will be discussing here, came under a cloud of rumours at SIHH, yet had not been officially introduced. Instead some prototypes had been shipped to boutiques world wide, bringing them under the immediate attention, and surprise, of Cartier connoisseurs world wide. The watches will however only be available from September 2014.
Last week Cartier Singapore gave me a presentation of this new member of the Tank family, that was on display for presentation, at the Orchard Road Boutiques.
A chronograph version for the Tank MC collection was something that could be expected, and a watch the real Cartier fanatics have been waiting for.
It is after all the most popular complication and the case of the Tank MC lends itself very well for a complication like this.
Cartier used the 1904 CH MC movement to power the Tank MC. The same caliber that is also used for the ‘Ballon bleu de Cartier Chronograph’ and the ‘Calibre de Cartier Chronograph’. Especially the Ballon bleu is a very attractive Chronograph, but many die hard Cartier connoisseurs love the brand for its square and rectangle models. A Chronograph in a Tank case, is, for the real Cartier man, the only way to go.
This 1904 CH MC caliber is playing an important role again, since the new movement is based entirely on the caliber 1904MC, but now with the date window at 6 o’clock. The two main spring barrels, that hold 48 hour of power reserve, ensure a more stable chronometric rate. It looks like, that since the original 1904MC caliber has a date function, all watches that will be having this movement, will be supplied with a date window as well. Personally I find that a great pity, since this Tank MC Chronograph would have been much better looking, without the date window, that now replaces the number 6 and bites into the minute tracking rail.
Personally I would have loved to seen a more creative design solution, if that date window is really necessary. For instance a pointer date @ 6. Or may be integrated at the subdial @ 3.
The case dimensions of the Tank MC Chronographe are identical to the Tank MC Time Only, be it that the case needed to be thicker, due to the height of the movement.
What makes this chronograph very sexy, are the larger dimensions of the crown and the way the two pushers are placed on both sides of the spinel or saphire facetted crown. The height of the case is still very acceptable and in line with the proportions of the watch.
The square chronographe may have a less sporty look than a round one, but when it comes to daily wear (and a watch like this should be worn every day), it is a winner with any outfit. Even with a cuffed shirt and a suit, it looks magnificent when it peeps from under the cuff.
Cartier presented different versions in pink gold or in steel and both are available with a rich guilloche dial in cream or in a slate grey. The cream dial version will probably sell best, since it is very classic and easy to match, but for the guys who dare; the grey version is a magnificent looking watch, still very much Cartier, but a bit different. It is indeed a little harder to read, because of the polished hands in combination with the grey dial, but über cool it is.
I would like to thank the Cartier Singapore team for their warm hospitality and presentation.
–GEO is contributor of Revo-Online & Revolution Magazine and passionate about Cartier, independents and fine watchmaking.