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My first Cartier...and a mini review

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Finally got my first Cartier, also happens to be my first pure dress watch. And not just 1, but a pair, for me and wife.

Befor going into mini-review, here is is the background process :

I have Omega PO for daily watch, and a Speedy for weekends, so I thought I should have a pure , simple, dress watch. This should be a very minimalist, without second hand and date, and must be manual winding or quartz. My first choice is naturally a hand winding watch.

Two candidates were Cartier Tank Louis Cartier XL (in short : Tank LC XL), with hand winding Piaget cal. 430, in rose gold, and JLC Grand Reverso Tribute to 1931, in SS, black dial (in short : JLC TTR 1931).

The JLC looks very good in the picture , but when sit on my wrist, it looks too long. This is because the ratio between length and width is more on the length side, and the pointy lugs. Although the lug-to-lug is 46.5 mm, it looks longer than my PO at 48 mm. So , as good as it is, especially the movement, I decided it was not for me. Besides, I prefer silver/white dial because my other watches have black dial.

The Tank LC XL has more square proportion , and the lug to lug is only 40.5 mm. It is a very beautiful watch, but the dial look so large and sits very flat on the wrist. Its difficult to tell, but it did not sing to me on the wrist the way it sing from pictures. IMHO the cramy dial ad rose gold make the watch a bit off.

Then the salesperson showed me the Cartier Tank Solo, which made in a pair (Large and Small), in solid yellow gold. They are quartz, and the size is very classic, and the large model perhaps a bit too small in these days. But when we tried them in the wrist, they look so nice and elegant.

In short, we went home with this lovely watch. Im happy, and the wife is happy too; this is important to get her approval on the next purchase J (what an expensive hobby it is).

So here is the initial impressions :

1. This is a quartz. Yes, it is not a WIS favourite, but it perfectly suit the purpose : it is meant to be worn only on special occasions such as wedding party, anniversaries, government formal meeting, etc. All of these maybe just 1-2 times in a month. So with a quartz I dont have to hassle with winding, setting date, etc. Just grab and go.

2. The case is polished Yellow gold, a classic colour IMHO, and pretty rare as these days we see the rose gold more often, including the fake watches. It solid 18K, not gold plated. The difference with Tank LC is that the top of bezel is flat and flush with crystal, while in the LC is rounded. I think the flat bezel makes it look more masculine and modern. The caseback is SS, I suppose its there to reduce the price and make it affordable for many Cartier fans, and on the wrist you cant see it either. The crown is classic Cartier blue synthetic cabochon, which is rounded (sphere), where in the LC is pointy. Note that the horizontal bezel is brushed, and the vertical is polished, a nice detail. Case size : 34 x 27 mm x 5.5 mm (large), 30 x 24 mm x 5.5 mm (small).

3. The dial is classic Cartier style, silver with Roman numeral and secret signature (at VII on Large model, and at XI on small model). The hands are blued steel, with nice proportion compared to the dials size. The crystal is sapphire with AR coating outside (not sure about the inside).

4. The movement is Quartz 690 for large model and 157 for small model. I cannot comment about these, but I have search in the internet and found no problem. Also Cartier has decorated the movement quite nice (found some pictures on the net).

5. the biggest weakness is the strap. It is calf strap with crocodile pattern, but its too thin and feel cheap compared to the watch itself. Fortunately the size is very common (Large model : 20 mm at the lug, tapers to 18 mm at the the buckle. Small model : 18 to 16 mm). The buckle is solid gold standard Cartier.

Overall Im very happy with this watch. Wearing comfort is good, although on the first week I have to get used to the small look compared to my other watches. But nobody make comment about that, instead they say its the right size for my wrist, particularly for a dress watch. Finally I have the gold dress watch, not just me but also for my lovely wife, all at the price lower than a single Tank LC XL J

And here are the pictures (thanks for viewing) :








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Now cartier has announce new model : Tank Solo Automatic XL...that's a "cousin" to the XL Louis cartier. Its beautoful and large size (40 mm). But it has a date so won't do well for occasional wear.

Cheers !


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A lovely pair indeed! I believe that the Tank Solo is one of the finest looking dress watches there is. I have the stainless steel model, and am very seriously considering a gold one. It would be my only gold watch.

The yellow gold has a very warm look to it. I also like the choice of the black strap with it. I think the gold tang buckle is more elegant than a deployment clasp. The fact that it has a quartz movement makes it a great choice for a dress watch, as it is likely not going to be worn often. Even if it is to be a daily watch, a good quartz movement is just fine in my books.

Also, the watches are both the perfect size. Matter of fact, even the small size I have tried on and I would not have a problem wearing it for a dress watch.




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