An In-Depth Review of the Cartier SolarBeat (2023)

Cartier is amongst the few watch brands that will always exceed your expectations. Although the French brand is best known for its beautiful jewellery, it also has a wide collection of stylish and elegant dress watches, all of which are crafted from premium materials.

Most recently, Cartier has released the striking Cartier SolarBeat watches as a way to showcase its commitment to the watchmaking craft. As part of the brand’s Cartier Tank Must series, the Cartier SolarBeat watches stand out with their sleek designs and high-tech, photovoltaic movements.

Read on to find out more about the Cartier SolarBeat, its specifications, and the best Cartier SolarBeat models available today.

All About the Cartier SolarBeat

An In-Depth Review of the Cartier SolarBeat (1)

The Cartier Tank collection has been part of Cartier’s catalogue for more than a hundred years now. In 2021, the brand took a more innovative approach with the Cartier Tank, reworking its design to introduce the new Cartier Tank Must sub-series. The Cartier Tank Must watches consist of a series of new models that are extremely diverse in terms of technology and materials used.

One of the more striking models released under the Cartier Tank Must name is the Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat. The Cartier SolarBeat is significant because it manages to preserve the DNA of its predecessors while also integrating new, cutting-edge technology with its photovoltaic watch calibre. This allows the Cartier SolarBeat to absorb sunlight and convert it into energy which can be used to power itself.

The Cartier SolarBeat’s solar-based technology is truly a new milestone for the French watch brand. It took two years of hard work and dedication from Cartier’s engineering team to complete the Cartier SolarBeat’s photovoltaic movement, and it is certainly worth it, as this solar-powered unit can last for an impressive 16 years before it needs to be reserviced.

Anatomy of the Cartier SolarBeat

In terms of its design, the Cartier SolarBeat remains faithful to the original Cartier Tank design. The Cartier SolarBeat has an elegant, ultra-slim profile and is available in either a 34mm or 29.5mm rectangular case made of stainless steel. Following the Cartier tradition, the crown of the Cartier SolarBeat is made out of stainless steel, with a blue synthetic spinel cabochon.

These Cartier SolarBeat watches also come with clean silver or white dials, which are furnished with classic blued steel hands and Roman numeral indices. The Cartier SolarBeat is also offered with a number of different strap options. You can select a stainless steel bracelet for a more formal look. On the other hand, if you enjoy more casual, everyday aesthetics, you can also opt for a series of plant-based straps available in blue, black, or green.

Best Cartier SolarBeat Models

1. Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat Ref. WSTA0059

An In-Depth Review of the Cartier SolarBeat (2)

First up, we have the Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat Ref. WSTA0059. This watch shows off a very classic, traditional appeal which makes it perfect for formal dinner parties and events. It comes in a 34mm stainless steel case and a smooth black leather strap.

The face of this watch showcases a clean silver-white finish, which stands out cleanly against the black leather strap. It is decorated blued steel sword hands and Roman numeral markers, along with a simple black-and-white minute track near the rim of the dial.

Driven by the Cartier SolarBeat photovoltaic movement, the Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat Ref. WSTA0059 promises an outstanding battery life of 16 years and a modest depth rating of 30 metres. It can be powered using any source of light, be it natural or artificial.

The Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat Ref. WSTA0059 is priced at $4,300 USD.

2. Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat Large Ref. WSTA0062

An In-Depth Review of the Cartier SolarBeat (3)

If you are seeking a more laidback, casual watch that you can use as an everyday beater piece, then the Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat Large Ref. WSTA0062 is a great option. This watch utilises a 34mm polished stainless steel case and a handsome leather strap in sky blue. On the right side of the case, you can find a small crown, which is topped with a blue cabochon spinel.

The white dial of this watch is adorned with Roman numeral markers in a thick black typeface and blued steel hands. Underneath this watch face, you can find the watch’s first-class Cartier SolarBeat movement. It delivers a battery life that lasts for up to 16 years and a depth rating of 30 metres.

The Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat Large Ref. WSTA0062 retails at $5,269 USD.

3. Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat Ref. WSTA0060

An In-Depth Review of the Cartier SolarBeat (4)

Looking for watches that can fit smaller wrists? Then the Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat Ref. WSTA0060 is just the right timepiece for you. This watch sports a slim 29.5mm stainless steel case and a handsome black leather strap. A thick fixed bezel is placed atop the watch case. Like the case, this bezel is embellished with a glossy polished finish that gives this Cartier SolarBeat watch a lustrous shine.

The dial of this watch shows off a good-looking white finish. It is filled with slanting black Roman numeral markers and thin blued steel hands. A rail-style minute track in black and white can also be found near the centre of the dial. Powering all of these functions is a cutting-edge Cartier SolarBeat movement, which offers a battery life of up to 16 years.

You can purchase the Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat Ref. WSTA0060 for around $3,534 USD.

Alternatives to the Cartier SolarBeat

Below are some of the best alternatives to the Cartier SolarBeat.

1. Tissot Tissot Heritage Ref. T117.509.16.052.00

If you like the ultra-slim profile of the Cartier SolarBeat, but want something a little quirkier and more fun, then the Tissot Tissot Heritage Ref. T117.509.16.052.00 is an excellent choice. This watch is presented in a chunky 49mm stainless steel case, which has the same rectangular case shape as the Cartier SolarBeat. This is paired with an elegant alligator leather strap in black and a small onion crown on the right side of its case.

The dial of this Tissot watch showcases a matte black finish that perfectly complements its strap. It is ornamented with slender leaf hands and oversized Arabic numeral markers in a flamboyant, Willy Wonka-esque typeface. A scratch-resistant mineral crystal is used to protect this dial from any scratches or impacts.

Ticking inside this Tissot Heritage is an ETA 901.001 Calibre. Held together by three jewels, this quartz movement beats at 26,280 vibrations per hour and delivers ultra-powerful stability and accuracy. It has an extensive battery life of up to 132 months.

The Tissot Tissot Heritage Ref. T117.509.16.052.00 costs approximately $459 USD, making it a much more affordable alternative to the Cartier SolarBeat.

2. Seiko SUP880

Next up, we have the Seiko SUP880. This watch was actually inspired by the Cartier Tank, which explains why it has a design so similar to that of the Cartier SolarBeat. This vintage-looking Seiko dress watch uses a slender 28.5mm rectangular case that is crafted from gold-painted stainless steel. This is paired with an aged black leather strap that adds to the watch’s retro style.

This watch’s dial comes in white and has a pattern of light grey lines that run vertically down it, giving it the appearance of soft linen. It consists of slanting Roman numeral markers in a thin black font and beautiful black leaf hands. A minute track in gold and black can also be found near the centre of the dial. On the right side of the watch case rests a small crown, with a black cabochon spinel at its tip.

This watch runs on the first-class Seiko V115 Calibre. This is a solar-charged quartz movement. Like the Cartier SolarBeat, the Seiko V115 allows the Seiko SUP880 to be charged using any source of light. It offers a modest 30-metre depth rating and a solid battery life of up to seven months.

You can get the Seiko SUP880 for just $110 USD.

3. Hamilton American Classic Ref. H13421811

The last watch on this list is the stylish Hamilton American Classic Ref. H13421811. It is packed in a 27.3mm tonneau case made of stainless steel and a smart red leather strap. The styling of this watch’s white dial is quite similar to that of the Cartier SolarBeat. It comprises bolded, slanting Roman numeral markers and thin blue lancette hands. A small seconds sub-dial has also been added at 6 o’clock.

Turning this Hamilton American Classic watch over, you will find a solid stainless steel caseback. It protects the Calibre 980.163 that runs inside. This is a quartz movement which beats at 26,280 vibrations per hour and provides a dependable 22-hour battery life. Like most other Hamilton dress watches, this timepiece is water-resistant up to depths of 50 metres.

The Hamilton American Classic Ref. H13421811 has a price tag of $569 USD.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is SolarBeat?

SolarBeat is a technical innovation of Cartier’s. It depends on the subtle and invisible perforation of the Cartier SolarBeat’s Roman numeral markers, whose openings allow solar energy to pass through and reach the photovoltaic cells placed underneath the watch’s dial. This enables the Cartier SolarBeat to be charged using solar energy, so that it can run for up to 16 years.

2. Are Cartier watches a Good Investment?

Along with Patek Philippe and Rolex, Cartier is ranked as one of the top watch brands whose timepieces retain an incredibly high value. As such, it is amongst the leading brands that are great for investment.

3. What is the difference between Cartier and Must de Cartier?

Cartier is the registered name of the French jeweller and watch brand. Must de Cartier, on the other hand, is one of Cartier’s most famous collections. It was officially launched in 1977.

4. Are Cartier watches respected?

Cartier was already a prestigious and renowned jeweller even before it was recognised as a reputable brand in the watch industry. It has also been recorded as one of the top watch brands in the world by Forbes. Simply put, Cartier is a highly-respected jeweller and watch manufacturer thanks to its considerable contributions to both industries.

Final Thoughts

On the whole, the Cartier Tank SolarBeat is a classic timepiece with top-notch specifications that once again proves the innovation and craftsmanship of the French jeweller, Cartier. Its development has been pivotal for the brand to showcase its commitment to creating contemporary watches equipped with state-of-the-art technology. If you are hunting for an elegant, stylish, and reliable dress watch, the Cartier Tank SolarBeat is definitely a great investment.

All images courtesy of TheWatchCompany.com unless otherwise stated.

Featured image courtesy of (user/ForSocialResearch/) on Reddit.

If you are still searching for a classic and sophisticated dress watch, you can read our review about the Longines Flagship Heritage.

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