Cartier Tank Talk With George Cramer And Martin Green: Behind The Scenes (Video)
by Martin Green
June 2021 is an important month for Cartier because of the pre-launch of the Tank Must models in Europe, which were introduced during Watches and Wonders and are an important addition to the Tank Louis Cartier collection.
Thanks to a conversation between Maurico Berber, Cartier’s PR manager for the Benelux and Nordic countries, and my Troisanneaux colleague George Cramer during Watches and Wonders, an idea was born to arrange a boutique “Tank Talk.” The goal of the talk was to motivate the sales staff through stories and anecdotes about Tank watches. And I had the pleasure of joining the conversation.
The day of our Cartier Tank Talk began at the historic Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam. Built in the late nineteenth century to serve as a bank headquarters, it is an imposing building at an equally imposing location flanked on one side by the Stedelijk Museum and the Van Gogh Museum, while the other was the destination for later in the day: the Amsterdam Cartier boutique located on the prestigious P.C. Hooftstraat.
The hotel suite we met in resembled a beehive with people busily walking in and out and boxes and cables strewn everywhere.
A unique occasion
While the entire set and film crew were part of the day’s plan, the main reason we were there was to discuss the legacy of the Tank with the sales staff of the two Cartier boutiques in Amsterdam as a prelude to the arrival of the newly launched Tank coming to stores now.
Named #TankTalk, George was invited by Cartier to talk with the sales staff about how he perceives the collection – past, present, and future. While we gave a presentation about the history, design, and mechanics of the different Tank models, the true goal was to share experiences, thoughts, and opinions.
We actually did three talks as COVID-19 restrictions in the Netherlands limited the number of people allowed in the boutique.
After posing for some outside photos, we entered the Cartier boutique where the excitement was palpable among the sales team already gathered for the presentation.
We initially worked with Claire Petrucci, Cartier’s product manager for watchmaking for the Benelux and Nordic countries, in setting up the displays. To support the #TankTalk visually, Cartier ensured that many different Tanks were present from the more than a century of history of the collection.
This was quite a treat for the sales associates and for us alike as the watches present included rare horological delicacies like the Tank Obus, Tank Asymètrique, Tank Chinoise, and many more.
As George started the presentation, the idea was that the boutique staff would start to ask questions, voice opinions, and ask for ours. As so many rare Tank models were present, we all had the opportunity to touch, try, and compare.
For this, we prepared a few “battles” – to remain with the appropriate “Tank lingo” – comparing the similarities and differences of, for example, the Tank Cintrée and the Tank Américaine, but also between the Tank Louis Cartier, vintage Tank Must, and the new Tank Must de Cartier collection.
It became a very fruitful experience with the staff sharing experiences selling these watches on a daily basis and us talking about how we perceive the different models. This gave us all more in-depth insights, strengthened by the presence of historic Tank models as well as the entire new collection.
To commemorate this special occasion, Cartier also passed out copies of George’s book, Cartier, The Gentleman’s Files, to each sales associate, allowing them to submerge themselves in the rich heritage of the Cartier Tank and other models after the Tank Talks were over.
Autographed versions were in high demand, which George signed in style using a Must de Cartier pen that he brought with him for the occasion. After that, it was time for the boutique to open its doors to the public and for us to return to the Conservatorium Hotel.
In the spotlight
Both George and I started to write about watches in general, and Cartier in particular, many years ago out of passion. Little did we know what that passion would result in many years later.
While it can be daunting to sit in the spotlight with two cameras pointed at you and a room full of people watching, it was a lot of fun and the video gave us the opportunity to share a taste of the experience we enjoyed in Amsterdam with an even larger audience.
“That’s a wrap!” sounded late in the afternoon, concluding an exciting day sharing knowledge and passion about the Cartier Tank collection.
For more information, please visit cartier.com/en/collections/watches/all-watches/tank-de-cartier-watches.