The Cartier Tank Turns 100
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Cartier Tank, a watch that’s become something of an icon in the worlds of both watchmaking and fashion. To celebrate, Cartier has revealed a collection of 100th anniversary models, as well as a refresh of the most accessible (and wearable?) Tank, the Americaine. In its 100 years, the Tank has proven itself remarkably adept at transforming its rectangular shape to meet the tastes of a broad and diverse range of wearers.
How has Cartier managed to keep the Tank relevant for so long? It all starts with that case design. The Tank broke the mold of the traditional rounded watch case, opting instead for a rectangular case, with two prominent parallel lines that connect the lugs lengthwise. The design is famously inspired by the top section of a Renault tank from WWI. The design works, and was marketed as, a gender agnostic timepiece. Indeed, famous wearers through the years include the likes of Andy Warhol, Cary Grant, Princess Diana, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, JFK himself, and Steve McQueen.
The Tank works so well on all manner of wrists thanks to its diverse family of offerings, which span across collections including the Française, Americaine, MC, Solo, LC, Anglaise and Chinoise. The Tank’s rectangular shape has been built in a variety of sizes from small to large, in metals precious or otherwise, with and without diamonds, and a plethora of colors both dial and strap. As a result, you can find a Tank that’ll look appropriate for pretty much any occasion or outfit.
In addition to the myriad of aesthetic options the Tank was offered in, things are the same on the inside. The Tank can be had with everything from Swiss made quartz movement, to a tourbillon endowed, well finished haute horology masterpiece. Consequently, prices range from just a few thousand dollars, on into the six figure territory. It is at once, a watch for the few and a watch for the masses. The only requisite being a strong sense of pride in your style.