Cartier Tank Watches Review: Everything You Want To Know

by Barbara

I. Cartier Tank Watches: A Timeless Legacy

For over a century, Cartier has been synonymous with luxury, elegance, and innovation in the world of haute horlogerie. Among its remarkable timepieces, the Cartier Tank series stands as an iconic collection that epitomizes the brand’s commitment to exquisite design and exceptional craftsmanship. Inspired by the formidable machines of war – the military tanks of World War I – the Cartier Tank watches have become a symbol of sophistication and timeless style. In this review, we will delve into the fascinating history, key features, different variations, and the comparison between the Cartier Tank Solo Quartz and the Cartier Tank Automatic models, as well as explore the price range of these revered timepieces.


II. Inspiration Behind the Design

The inception of the Cartier Tank series can be traced back to 1917 when Louis Cartier drew inspiration from the tanks he observed on the Western Front during World War I. The robust and utilitarian appearance of these armored vehicles inspired Cartier to create a wristwatch with distinct lines and angles that would later become the hallmark of the Tank collection. Introduced in 1919, the Cartier Tank quickly gained popularity for its avant-garde design, departing from the traditional round cases prevalent at the time.


III. Decades of Timeless Elegance

The Cartier Tank series has withstood the test of time and has been in continuous production for over a century. Its enduring appeal is a testament to Cartier’s mastery of horological artistry and the ability to create timeless designs that transcend eras. The Tank watches have graced the wrists of royalty, celebrities, and trendsetters alike, becoming an essential accessory for those seeking refined elegance and sophistication.


IV. Key Features and Characteristics

The Cartier Tank watches are characterized by several key features that contribute to their enduring allure:


1. Rectangular Case: The Tank series stands apart with its rectangular case, inspired by the tracks of military tanks. The harmonious proportions and clean lines of the case create a distinct and elegant silhouette.

2. Roman Numerals: The dial of the Tank watches typically features Roman numeral hour markers, adding a touch of classic refinement to the timepiece.

3. Blued Hands: The blued steel hands on the dial of the Cartier Tank watches add a pop of color and a subtle nod to traditional watchmaking.

4. Sapphire Cabochon Crown: Many Cartier Tank models feature a signature sapphire cabochon crown, a nod to the brand’s heritage and attention to detail.

V. Models and Variations

The Cartier Tank series offers a diverse range of models and variations, catering to various tastes and preferences. Some of the most popular Cartier Tank collections include:

1. Cartier Tank Française: This collection features a modern twist on the classic Tank design, with integrated bracelet links seamlessly blending into the case.

2. Cartier Tank Américaine: The Tank Américaine boasts an elongated case and a curvaceous profile, exuding understated luxury and elegance.

3. Cartier Tank Anglaise: With a bold and dynamic presence, the Tank Anglaise showcases a winding crown nestled within the case.

4. Cartier Tank Louis Cartier: This collection pays homage to the original 1919 Tank watch, remaining faithful to its vintage aesthetics.

VII. Cartier Tank Solo Quartz vs. Cartier Tank Automatic

Both the Cartier Tank Solo Quartz and the Cartier Tank Automatic models are part of the larger Tank collection and share the same iconic design. However, they differ in terms of their movements:

1. Cartier Tank Solo Quartz: The Tank Solo Quartz is powered by a battery-operated quartz movement, renowned for its accuracy and low maintenance. The quartz movement ensures precise timekeeping and eliminates the need for manual winding.

2. Cartier Tank Automatic: The Cartier Tank Automatic, as the name suggests, relies on a mechanical self-winding movement. The movement is powered by the motion of the wearer’s wrist, automatically winding the mainspring, and does not require a battery.

VIII. Price Range

The price range of Cartier Tank watches varies depending on factors such as the collection, materials used, and complications featured. The Tank Solo Quartz models are generally more affordable due to the quartz movement, making them an accessible entry point into the world of Cartier luxury watches. On the other hand, the Cartier Tank Automatic models command a higher price due to the craftsmanship and mechanical complexity of their movements. Prices for the Cartier Tank watches can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, with limited edition and precious metal versions often commanding higher prices.

IX. Cartier Tank Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Where can I find a comprehensive review of Cartier Tank watches?

If you are seeking comprehensive reviews of Cartier Tank watches, there are several reliable sources to consider:

1. Watch Publications: Esteemed watch publications often feature in-depth reviews of luxury timepieces, including the Cartier Tank series. Expert horologists examine the design, craftsmanship, and performance of each model, providing valuable insights for potential buyers.

2. Online Watch Forums: Horological enthusiasts frequently discuss and review Cartier Tank watches on dedicated watch forums. These forums offer real-world opinions and experiences from watch owners, providing a holistic perspective on the timepieces.

3. Official Cartier Website: The official Cartier website provides comprehensive information on each Cartier Tank model, including specifications, technical details, and imagery. It serves as an excellent starting point for those interested in the collection.

4. Authorized Cartier Retailers: Visiting authorized Cartier retailers allows you to view the Tank watches in person and receive expert guidance from knowledgeable staff.

Q2. Are Cartier Tank Watches a Good Investment?

Cartier Tank watches are not only renowned for their design and craftsmanship but also for their status as solid investments in the luxury watch market. Several factors contribute to their reputation as valuable timepieces:

1. Iconic Design: The timeless and iconic design of Cartier Tank watches transcends trends and remains sought-after by collectors, contributing to their long-term value.

2. Prestigious Brand: Cartier’s esteemed reputation as a luxury brand adds to the desirability and investment potential of their timepieces.

3. Limited Production: Cartier often produces Tank watches in limited quantities, making certain models rarer and more valuable among collectors.

4. Resale Value: Cartier Tank watches, especially limited editions and vintage models, can appreciate in value over time, offering potential returns for savvy investors.

Q3. How does the Cartier Tank Must de Cartier line differ from other Tank models?

The Cartier Tank Must de Cartier line holds a special place within the Tank series, offering a unique and distinct experience from other Tank models. Here are some distinguishing features:

1. Origins: The Tank Must de Cartier line was first introduced in the 1970s and became known for its colorful and vibrant designs. It catered to a broader audience, making Cartier watches more accessible.

2. Vermeil Cases: Unlike traditional Tank models made of solid gold or stainless steel, the Tank Must de Cartier watches feature vermeil cases. Vermeil is a combination of sterling silver and gold plating, providing a more affordable option without compromising on style.

3. Iconic Colors: The Tank Must de Cartier line is renowned for its iconic colors, including burgundy, blue, and green. These colorful dials added a playful touch to the classic Tank design.

4. Quartz Movements: The Tank Must de Cartier watches were primarily powered by quartz movements, ensuring accurate timekeeping and low maintenance.


The Cartier Tank series represents a true horological masterpiece that has withstood the test of time. Rooted in a rich history and inspired by military tanks, the Tank watches continue to captivate watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs with their timeless elegance, exquisite craftsmanship, and iconic design.

Whether adorned by historical figures or contemporary celebrities, the Cartier Tank watches remain a symbol of sophistication and style. From the distinctive rectangular case to the elegant Roman numerals and blued hands, each timepiece is a harmonious fusion of art and horology.

As the Cartier Tank series continues to evolve and inspire, its enduring legacy will undoubtedly live on, gracing the wrists of generations to come. Embrace the timeless elegance and luxury of the Cartier Tank watches, and experience the essence of exceptional craftsmanship and design.


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