Looking to buy a watch? Shop Now

Cartier Tank Must 22 ref. WSTA0042

Cartier Tank Must 22 ref. WSTA0042

By Aaron Voyles
24 Jun 2024
6.5 min read

Here's all you need to know about Cartier Tank Must 22 ref. WSTA0042

The Origins

The word “iconic” might be thrown around in the watchmaking world rather easily, but sometimes, the watch it is ascribed to deserves that title. One such deserving watch is the Cartier Tank. Released in 1917, the Tank was designed by Louis Cartier after he was inspired by the shape of the Renault tanks he saw on the Western Front during WWI. Perhaps one of the most recognisable pieces of horological design to ever be created, the Tank’s rectangular shape, svelte proportions and timeless aesthetic have enabled the Tank to earn a place within the horological hall of fame. 

Cartier Tank Must 22 ref. WSTA0042
Cartier Tank Must 22 ref. WSTA0042

Of course, the Cartier Tank has seen its fair share of updates, variants and sibling collections that all build upon the foundation its iconic design, but with some form of flavour that the original does not emulate. One such sibling collection is the Tank Must. Originating from the late 1970s during the Quartz Crisis, the Tank Must was released as an entry-level watch that could be sold by Cartier stockists worldwide and not just within their own exclusive boutiques. Taking the Tank Louis’ iconic design, the Tank Must also took a gold plated sterling silver case (a technique Cartier calls Vermeil) that was typically fitted with a quartz movement which reduced costs and sped up production. 

Far more accessible than their other Tank models, the Must collection still featured the Tank’s iconic aesthetic and remained incredibly fashionable for years to follow. It exceeded sales expectations by quite some margin and provided Cartier with the financial power they needed as quartz watches really hit the Swiss watchmaking industry hard. Today, the Tank Must was revived in 2021 to live on as a modern diffusion line within the Tank collection. Retaining its historical significance within Cartier’s catalog and offering a more accessible price point to one of Cartier’s, and horology’s, most significant designs, it is an incredibly popular choice for watch collectors and fashionistas alike. 

The Case and Dial

cartier tank must 22 WSTA0042
Measuring 22mm in diameter and 29.5mm tall, the modern ref. WSTA0042 boasts the Tank’s classic sizing

Retaining Cartier’s signature dial design, the ref. WSTA0042 that we are exploring today features a bright silver dial with all of the hallmarks of Cartier’s design philosophy, with a black railroad-style ‘chemin de fer’ minute track that lies beneath black Roman numerals. Additionally, the ref. WSTA0042 also features blued steel hands that combine with the blue sapphire cabochon set in the winding crown to add a pop of colour to this otherwise monochromatic aesthetic.

Ditching the vermeil constructions of the past, the Cartier Tank Must collection now offers the Tank’s iconic rectangular design in regular stainless steel, most likely in a bid to preserve the look of gold for those willing to invest the money in order the get a solid 18k gold watch. Measuring 22mm in diameter and 29.5mm tall, the modern ref. WSTA0042 boasts the Tank’s classic sizing, all while being known as the “small model,” which it probably is by today’s standards. Yet, with the ever-growing demand for ever-shrinking watches, this is by no means a slight against the ref. WSTA0042, for it is a truly popular watch nonetheless.

Celeb Love

Jacob Elordi and his Cartier Tank
Jacob Elordi and his Cartier Tank

Enjoying an explosion in popularity in recent years, Cartier’s offerings are perhaps some of the hottest on the market today outside of the traditional heavy hitters like Rolex and Patek Philippe. As a result, celebrities across the globe have been spotted wearing all manner of Cartier timepieces that are new, old and everything in-between. Amongst one of the most popular models worn is the Cartier Tank in all of its iconic rectangular glory. 

Actors like Paul Mescal and Jacob Elordi have been spotted wearing their own Tanks, in addition to the incredible selection of famous faces from the past who were known to wear the Tank, like Andy Warhol, who said “I don't wear a Tank to tell the time. In fact, I never wind it. I wear a Tank because it's the watch to wear” amongst others like Princess Diana and Mohammed Ali. Showcasing just how timeless the Tank’s design is, young Peaky Blinders star Conrad Khan has also been spotted wearing his own ref. WSTA0042 shortly after its release too, demonstrating just how popular this iconic watch is. 

Market Performance

The ref. WSTA0042 trades for a market value of around $3000, representing a negative price premium of 8.7% from its MSRP of $3300

Since its debut just over three years ago, the WSTA0042 has undergone the same incredible period of popularity that Cartier’s other watches have also underwent. However, given its easier production and accessible nature, the WSTA0042 has never been a watch that commanded long waiting lists or anything else that might lead to it being worth a premium on the market. Of course, it has traded close to its retail price on a handful of occasions, and would often sell out from time to time, but its market value has consistently traded below its MSRP. 

Currently, the ref. WSTA0042 trades for a market value of around $3000, representing a negative price premium of 8.7% from its MSRP of $3300, which is not bad when you consider that smaller quartz watches like the ref. WSTA0042 would traditionally be worth anywhere from 20 to 30% less than their full MSRP. All in all, while it might not be a prolific money-maker straight from the AD, like some other watches have been in the last few years, the ref. WSTA0042 still represents the opportuneity to add a brand new Cartier to your collection for an excellent price.

Check out the live performance of Cartier Tank Must 22 ref. WSTA0042 on The Wristcheck Index