A couple of the most interesting more historic models were described in Part 1 of ‘Cartier The Tank Watch’, but as Cartier said last year; ‘Never Stop Tank’, the story continues and Cartier keeps on updating it’s collection of Tanks, with slight variations on existing cases, adding new ‘In House’ developed movements and launching new models. Let’s now have a look what kind of Tank’s Cartier has to offer these days.
The LC Tank, designed in 1919, can be seen as the most serious Tank in the collection. It was the follow up model of the Tank Normale and it found and still finds it’s way to many men and women, in different variations and sizes. While the watch has been available with a quartz movement, mechanical versions have always been around. Two very interesting mechanical LC Tanks were in the catalogue, in the period 1998 – 2008 and produced for the Collection Privée, Cartier Paris series.
At first the model was released as the Tank Louis Cartier Extra-thin, in the classic dimensions 33.5 x 23.5mm, powered with a 021MC hand wound caliber, by Fréderique Piguet and a 18 k gold guilloché silvered dial and a closed back with individual number. The second model was the Tank Louis Cartier XL that was released in 2006. Not a limited edition, but produced in really low numbers. The total amount of produced watches in pink gold remained below 300 pieces, while no more than 50 pieces were made in platinum. The watch case was larger and measured 30 x 39.2 mm, had a display back and a incredible good looking, reworked rectangle hand wound 9701 MC mechanical movement by Piaget.
Collection Privée Cartier Paris came to an end in 2008, but Cartier did not stop and released the LC Tank XL again, but now with the hand wound 9753MC mechanical caliber. A handsome model with a case measuring 30 x 39.2mm. Closed back and missing the word Paris on the dial, but a date window below the number 12 and a power reserve display, make up for that. The model is officially not available anymore, but can still be found at some Boutiques and AD’s. Actually a very smart Tank, where never was a lot of fuzz about.
The caliber is a mechanical hand wound Piaget movement and the watch has also been produced with a chocolate dial. This dark face model makes it a bit harder to read the time, with the gold hands on the dark brown dial, but the effect is worth it.
These LC Tank models were followed up, in 2012, by a newly designed LC Tank XL.
Very close to the 2006 LC Tank XL version, is the current model, the Tank Louis Cartier XL Extra plat. The case dimensions are 34.9 x 40.4mm, and the housing is only 5mm thick, due to the ultra thin 430 MC by Piaget caliber and the fact that Cartier choosed for a closed back, instead of a display window.
The model is available in pink- or white gold and both colours are available with diamond set brancards,
which makes it one of the most elegant diamond watches for men, in the catalogue.
When the Tank Americaine large model was released in 1989, it really was a big watch! The case dimensions were 44 x 26.5mm and are actually pretty modest nowadays. But at that time the trend was still very small and in Italy, it only just became fashionable for ladies to wear mens Rolex watches.
It still took until 1998 when Panerai released it’s first model commercially, that really set the craze for large watches. The Tank Americaine collection became soon after it’s first release, a series of watches that constantly evolved. Smaller models with stunning gold bracelets were released this year in pink- and white gold, while a larger model with In House Flying Tourbillon caliber, is still the crown of the Tank Americaine collection.
When the Tank Francaise was released in 1995, it was an instant success. At that time there were two models that could be compared with the new Tank Francaise. The sporty Santos with the screws, that was already more than 17 years on the market and the smooth Panthere that was about 12 years in the catalogue. So it was getting time for some refreshment.
The Tank Francaise is smooth and more robust and it’s bracelet refers directly to the cater pillars of a Tank. The Tank Francaise is also a large family of models and sizes. No matter what material is chosen, steel or gold, or a mix of the two, the strong details of the watch, like the dial and blued hands, remain throughout the series.
Small and medium models have quartz movements, the large model, pictured above in steel/gold, has an automatic caliber 220. Just like the mens diamond version, that featured two rows of diamonds, on a white gold case.
The Tank Anglaise is the newest Tank in the collection and was only released last year in three different sizes, all in gold, with gold bracelets or gold with diamonds. The largest model is build, to house the 1904 MC automatic caliber, Cartier’s first In House build automatic caliber, while the medium version of the Tank Anglaise has an automatic ETA movement, that has proven it’s reliability over the years, in various models.
A unique design feature of the Tank Anglaise is the crown. The way the crown is build in the right brancard of he case, gives the watch a very different look and may remind a bit of the vintage Cartier Ceinture watch. In the meantime the steel with pink gold variations of the Tank Anglaise have been presented. These steel/gold series are not available with diamonds, since Cartier never mixes diamonds with steel!
The Tank Solo was, until last year, only available with a quartz movement, but the model has been revised and is now also available with a larger case and an automatic caliber with date window and sweep seconds, which makes it a very interesting and more serious watch.
This is now the most affordable Tank at the moment and since it’s available on an alligator strap with double adjusted folding buckle, as well as with a neat steel bracelet, it gives many possibilities. Great looking watch, especially for those who are looking for a classy, no nonsense, steel daily watch, to wear in the office. The slightly smaller quartz version, has no date window and is still available.
The Tank watch is widely represented in the Cartier Collection of watches and especially for men, there are plenty models to choose from. The Tank Anglaise was the latest addition to the collection but…… we just heard about the launch of completely new Tank; the Tank MC with in house caliber !
You can find the first details in the NEWS section.
The Tank is an excellent example of what an allround watch should be and to me it’s a watch with class and a lot of history.