Since its launch in 1996, the Cartier brand French tank watch was celebrated for its timeless, flowing style and easy-to-wear elegance. As the first piece in the classic Tank collection to feature an integrated bracelet, the watch garnered a cult following and is now one of Cartier’s most recognizable accessories.
This year marks a new stage in its history. The Tank Française returns to center stage with an innovative redesign. Find out what’s changed and see the watch take center stage in a short film directed by Guy Ritchie, starring Rami Malek and Catherine Deneuve.
It’s a style icon
The first Tank watch dates back to 1917, when it was created by Louis Cartier, grandson of Cartier founder Louis-François Cartier. It is said to be named after the armored vehicles that were used by French forces during the First World War. There have been several variations of the original watch since then, including the Tank Américaine in 1989 and the Tank Anglaise in 2012. Yet its essential features – the Roman numerals, blue sword-shaped hands, vertical bars on its case (called stretchers) and the “railway” style minute markers – remain inseparable from each design.
When the Tank was transformed with the addition of a metal bracelet in 1996, it marked the start of a new era for the collection. The French Tank has arrived. Now, 27 years later, its signature sleek appearance has been revamped.
After 13,000 hours of development by Cartier’s design team, the shape of the Tank Française has been refined to form a perfect compact curve that extends seamlessly from the watch case. This sleek new look is made up of over 100 components, with an invisible connection between each link. It’s this impressive linearity that sets the Tank apart from other watch designs and maintains its gender-neutral appeal (over the years it’s been worn by everyone from Princess Diana to Mick Jagger.)
Its ready for her close up
Thanks to its curved shape, the new Tank Française is more attractive than ever. Other subtle design tweaks, such as slightly more rounded arms and a satin finish on the case and bracelet, also contribute to its contemporary finish.
With seven watches in the new collection, you can choose from an updated range of styles and sizes. Three steel pieces are available in sizes small, medium and large, while four size options are offered in a rich yellow gold. The steel model has a silver dial with silver Roman numerals, which darken as the size of the watch increases. The yellow gold design features a sparkling champagne finish on its dial and, for added luxury, one of the gold models is adorned with 23 brilliant cut diamonds.
The sizing itself has also been reconsidered, with the average watch case now measuring 32mm x 27mm (a 2mm increase in both length and width over the original model). New and improved features, including an automatic movement, date indicator and the addition of a seconds hand, make the larger Tank Française model a standout option.
He has star quality
The Tank Française returns to center stage and, to celebrate, Cartier has collaborated with Guy Ritchie to produce a short film dedicated to its history. Set on the Pont Alexandre III in Paris, the film stars Rami Malek and Catherine Deneuve – a legend of French cinema – and captures that Gallic “je ne sais quoi” by highlighting the evolution of the watch through the decades.
Discover the Tank Française on cartier.com and in Cartier boutiques