For over 100 years, Cartier’s watch collections have been the definition of watches that transcend time. Cartier has a long history of serving royals across the globe and was known as “The jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers”. The powerful reputation of the French luxury brand has given birth to a variety of legendary collections, including the Cartier Tank series, designed after World War I tanks by Louis Cartier in 1917. The classic timepieces of the Cartier Tank are elegant and creative, with design aesthetics being constantly reinvented and modernized as years go by.
The famous tank-shape casing of the first watch under the Cartier Tank collection was first designed in 1917 and was gifted by Cartier to General Pershing before its full production and release in 1919. Today, a variety of versions of the Cartier Tank was released through the years, maintaining their roots and identity while being elegantly modernized.
Among the first few iconic watches under this collection was the Cartier Tank Louis, released in 1922 featuring more softened angles and rounded tips of the Tank’s famous square-rectangle casing. This watch gives off a more modern style dressed in 18K pink gold, yellow gold, or rose gold casing, embellished with brilliant-cut diamonds and with a bracelet or alligator skin strap. It was then followed by the release of the Tank Américaine in 1989 that introduced an elongated casing and more pronounced curve. And then, finally, the Tank Française was introduced in 1996, giving a modernized aesthetic with its chain-link bracelet and curved case.
These timepieces were solid proof of the timeless elegance of Cartier Tank. First introduced by Cartier over 100 years ago, the collection has been continuously growing and is now well-loved by watch enthusiasts all over the world.
Prices at a Glance: Most Popular Cartier Tank Watches
Cartier Tank Cintrée watch
Mechanical movement with manual winding, caliber 9917 MC
Platinum case, beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon, blued-steel sword-shaped hands.
Black alligator-skin strap, 18K white gold double adjustable folding buckle, and hours and minutes function
Cartier Tank Asymétrique watch
47.15mm x 26.20mm, equipped with a mechanical movement with manual winding, caliber 9623 MC
Pink gold casing and beaded pink gold crown set with a sapphire
Has blued-steel sword-shaped hands, 2 brown and dark gray alligator-skin straps, 18K pink gold ardillon buckle.
Hours and minutes with skeletonized bridges forming Arabic numerals, covered in blue lacquer.
Cartier Tank Louis Cartier watch
33.7 mm x 25.5 in size, equipped with a mechanical movement with manual winding, caliber 1917 MC
18K rose gold set with 40 brilliant-cut diamonds and beaded crown set with one brilliant-cut diamond of 0.65 carats
Silvered dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, mineral crystal, and 18K rose gold bracelet.
Cartier Tank Française watch
30mm x 25mm, equipped with quartz movement
18K yellow gold case set with brilliant-cut diamonds. 18K yellow gold octagonal crown set with a brilliant-cut diamond.
18K pink gold case set with brilliant-cut diamonds, octagonal crown decorated with a brilliant-cut diamond
Has silvered flinqué dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal, and 18K pink gold bracelet.
Cartier Tank Louis Cartier watch
33.7mm x 25.5mm, equipped with a mechanical movement with manual winding, caliber 8971 MC
18K pink gold case set with 40 brilliant-cut diamonds and beaded crown set with one brilliant-cut diamond totaling 0.65 carats
Has silvered beaded dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, mineral crystal, strap in shiny burgundy alligator skin, and 16mm double adjustable folding buckle in 18K pink gold.
Cartier Tank Cintrée watch
46.3mm x 23mm, equipped with a mechanical movement with manual winding, caliber 8971 MC
18K yellow gold case, beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon
Has golden dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, mineral crystal, semi-matte brown alligator-skin strap, 14 mm ardillon buckle in 18K yellow gold.
Cartier Tank MC watch
Equipped with self-winding mechanical movement, and caliber 1904-PS MC
Steel casing with octagonal steel crown set with a synthetic spinel
Has blue flinqué dial, rhodiumized steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal, dark blue alligator-skin strap, double adjustable folding steel buckle
48-hour power reserve, calendar aperture at 3 o'clock, small seconds counter at 6 o'clock, sapphire case back.
Cartier Tank Américaine watch
34.80mm x 19.00mm, equipped with quartz movement
Case in steel, octagonal crown set with a synthetic blue spinel
Has silvered dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, strap in shiny navy blue alligator skin, 12 mm adjustable folding buckle.
Cartier Tank Solo watch
31mm x 24.4mm, equipped with quartz movement
Steel case, beaded crown set with a synthetic spinel cabochon
Has clear silvered opaline dial, Roman numerals, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal, and steel bracelet.
How much does a Cartier Tank cost?
Prices for the Cartier Tank Solo: A Classic that Pays Tribute to the Original Tank
The Cartier Tank Solo collection was first released in 2004 with a classic aesthetic that pays tribute to the original Tank watch but with a modernized and playful look. The watch comes in automatic and quartz movement and now has interchangeable straps in bright colorful colors giving it a classy yet playful look. Dressed in a steel case, the watch has a beaded crown set with a synthetic cabochon-shaped spinel, and a silvered light opaline dial. It also features Roman numerals, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal, interchangeable strap, with a steel double adjustable folding buckle. The price of a large Tank Solo watch with a quartz movement starts at $2,610 USD, while an extra-large 18K pink gold watch starts at $8,500 USD.
Prices for the Cartier Tank Louis Cartier Series: Honoring the Art Deco Style
Designed by Louis Cartier himself, this collection honors his contribution to modern style or now known as Art Deco. It features a contrast of the previous watches with rectangular-shaped casing with the tops of the lugs in this collection being rounded. It comes with an 18K pink gold or yellow gold casing with a beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon. The dials are in silver and have blued-steel sword-shaped hands and mineral crystals while the straps are either alligator skin with ardillon buckle or 18K pink gold bracelet. The Cartier Tank Louis is priced starting at $10,200 USD, and $28,000 USD for the 18K pink gold.
Prices for the Cartier Tank Anglaise: The Bigger and Curvier Tank Model
The Cartier Tank Anglaise was first revealed in 2012, slightly similar to the original Tank watch but a little bigger and curvier. It features a sapphire-set crown also known as brancard, sizes for men and women, and equipped with automatic or quartz movement. The Tank Anglaise has been discontinued, but you can get a second-hand item for about $7,860 USD or more, depending on the material and condition of the watch.
Prices for the Cartier Tank Française: A Classic Tank with a Chain-link Bracelet
The Cartier Tank Française is the updated and modernized model of the classic Tank with its chain-link bracelet and curved casing. It features a steel or gold casing and bracelet and is equipped with an octagonal crown set. The Cartier Tank Française series offers a variety of designs that can be paired up with everyday look from simple steel watches to diamond-embellished versions in gold. The steel version is priced starting at $3,400 USD, while the diamond-embellished rose gold version can go up to $29,100 USD.
Prices for the Cartier Tank Américaine: An Elongated Rectangle Watch
The Cartier Tank Américaine, introduced in 1989, features an elongated version of the original Tank watch. The casing is elongated and was given a pronounced curve, still retaining the rectangle look but with refined edges and lines. The Tank Américaine offers a variety of styles from colored alligator skin straps or gold bracelets, to diamond-embellished ones and 18K gold cases. Starting price for this collection is around $4,200 USD up to $32,900 USD for the rose gold and diamond-embellished versions.
Prices for the Cartier Tank MC: The More Masculine Tank
The Cartier Tank MC gives off a very masculine vibe with its square and larger cases and is empowered with caliber 1904 MC automatic movement. This collection is available in steel or 18K pink gold casing and features a calendar aperture at 3 o'clock, small second counter at 6 o'clock, and sapphire caseback. It also has a silvered flinqué dial, sword-shaped hands in blued steel, sapphire crystal, a semi-matte black alligator-skin strap, and a double adjustable folding buckle in steel or 18k pink gold. The starting price for the Tank MC is $7,000 USD and can go up to $18,000 USD.
Cartier Tank — Is it a good investment?
The Cartier Tank watches are one of the most desirable models being patronized by everyone, even by non-watch aficionados throughout the years. It is undeniably a perfect collectible because of its WWI-inspired designs, which has this perfect blend of vintage and modern. While the newer versions of the Cartier Tank are a good investment too with their diamond embellishments and gold casing, the vintage Cartier Tanks from the 1950s to 1980s are some of the good models for starters. They’re not that pricey unlike the newer versions, but they hold a big value in terms of vintage and classic watches, considering its history and the legendary people who used to sport the same vintage watches back then.
History Behind the Cartier Tank Collection
For over 100 years, Cartier’s watch collections have been the definition of watches that transcends through time. It has a long history of serving royals across the globe and was known as “The jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers”. One of the most legendary and iconic collections under their wing is the Cartier Tank, introduced in 1919. It was designed in 1917 after the WWI battlefield tanks by Louis Cartier and was in full production only in 1919. The first watch ever produced was gifted by Cartier to General Pershing and features the famous square-rectangle casing. The watch resembles the combat vehicle with the brancards as the tracks and the case as the turret.
The success of the first few Cartier Tank watches were followed by redesigned models that highlight an elongated version of the casing with a more pronounced curve, which was introduced as the Tank Américaine. Years later, Cartier then introduced the Tank Louis named after the designer himself, Louis Cartier, featuring more refined proportions like the rounded brancards and the vertical bars. The Tank Française followed in 1996 giving the classic tank watch a modernized look with its chain-link bracelet and curved casing. By 2004, a slightly similar model was introduced by the collection name of Tank Solo with slightly flatter brancards and slightly thicker casing powered by a quartz movement. It also offers a variety of colors for its dials.
As the world adapts to modernity, Cartier released the Tank Anglaise in 2012, and the Tank MC in 2013. One of the highlighted changes in the Anglaise models was its curved casing and special crown design. It also exudes a softer look, different from the other models which follow through the Art Deco designs. Meanwhile, the Tank MC boasts the brand’s in-house 1904 MC automatic movement. It also features a seconds subdial and offers a variety of metals and functions.
In 2021, the Cartier Tank is introducing brighter models in burgundy, blue, and green through the Cartier Tank Must collection that will feature a variety of improved functions and movements.
3 Reasons to Buy a Cartier Tank Watch
1. Iconic and Legendary Patrons
Princess Diana, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Muhammad Ali, Michelle Obama, and Angelina Jolie, to name a few, these are some of the most iconic and legendary owners of the well-loved Cartier Tank collection. Having a watch as valuable as these timepieces that are greatly adored by iconic people in the industry will surely influence a lot of people to buy the watch themselves. But what makes it more desirable is the guarantee of having a quality timepiece tried and tested by influential people.
2. Classic Timepieces that Transcend Time
Cartier’s watches have been in the industry for a century now and even after a hundred years, their Tank collections never fail to adapt to the fast and ever-changing lifestyle of people. From the original Tank watch back then to more modernized timepieces of today, they have proven that these watches will truly be here for a long time.
3. Elegantly Modernized Style and Designs
Amidst the changing aesthetic of the generations, the Cartier Tank collection made sure to retain its classic tank-inspired design all while improving and modernizing its style and designs, giving it an elegant yet playful look throughout the years.
Cartier Tank: A Horology Icon on Your Wrist
The Cartier Tank collection is a product of a hundred years of watchmaking excellence as it successfully maintains its historic and legendary design all while keeping up with the modernized yet still elegant aesthetic of today’s generation. This well-loved collection was adored by many patrons ever since the start and by the looks of it, this quintessential watch, no matter the era is, will never go out of style.
Cartier Tank Watches
Cartier is known for a lot of things, but one of the most popular items from Cartier is their Tank watch collection. The Tank watch is a classic Cartier look that is available for both men and women. The Tank was created in 1917 and has not lost its classic touch yet. This watch screams sophistication with a sprinkle of classic.