Cartier Tank and Its Different Models

cartier tank mc


Cartier Tank: A Guide to Its Different Models


Introduced in 1917, the Cartier Tank was the watch to wear in the 20th century and remains an icon today, more than 100 years after its launch.

Apart from its classic looks, one can attribute its longevity to the vast selection of styles under the Cartier Tank family. Varying in size, shape, metals, complications and straps, the options seem virtually infinite when it comes to the Cartier Tank — and yet, each model possesses the elegantly crisp and clean look that the Tank has become known and coveted for.


Get to know different types of Cartier Tank watches, from classic models to rare and obscure styles.




Cartier Tank Louis 18K Yellow Gold Watches
Cartier Tank Louis 18K Yellow Gold Watches

The Cartier Tank Louis, as its name suggests, was the choice timepiece of Louis Cartier himself. This is considered the quintessential Tank — the one that set the standard for all succeeding Cartier Tank designs.

The Tank Louis is loved for its refined proportions: slightly elongated rectangular case and dial, matched with slimmer, rounded brancards or the vertical bars that run along each side of the case, seamlessly integrating the strap.





Cartier Tank à Guichet (Christies) and Tank Obus
Cartier Tank à Guichet (Christies) and Tank Obus

In the same decade, Cartier launched Tank models that are more unusual but are still refined and easy to wear. Two of these models – the Cartier Tank Obus and Cartier Tank à Guichet, would later be relaunched for a short period.

The Cartier Tank Obus (right) first appeared in 1923. Characterized by a square case, bullet lugs, and a busier dial with both Roman and Arabic numerals – it’s definitely not your average Tank. The last Tank Obus was released in 1998 for the Collection Privée Cartier Paris series.

In 1928, Cartier launched its first jumping hour wristwatch – the Tank à Guichet. Instead of an analog display, it had two windows that show the hour and the minutes, much like a mechanical digital watch. The Tank à Guichet was revived in 1997 to commemorate Cartier’s 150th anniversary, and were last produced in 2005.





Cartier Tank Americaine 18K Rose Gold Ladies Watch
Cartier Tank Americaine 18K Rose Gold Ladies Watch

In 1989, Cartier’s designers set out to create a Tank model influenced by American culture. The result was the elongated and curved Tank Americaine. It’s reminiscent of the slim Tank Cintrée of the 1920s, this time with a more pronounced curve, which is meant to fit the wrist more comfortably.

Earlier versions of the Tank Americaine were only offered in precious materials such as yellow, rose, and white gold, as well as platinum. In 2017, for the Cartier Tank’s 100th anniversary, Cartier finally presented stainless steel versions of the Tank Americaine.





Cartier Tank Francaise White Gold Blue Dial Diamond Ladies Watch
Cartier Tank Francaise White Gold Blue Dial Diamond Ladies Watch

In 1995, Cartier unveiled a sporty take on the classic Tank – the Cartier Tank Francaise. Much like the original Tank watches, Cartier drew inspiration from Renault military tanks, by designing the chain-link bracelet to mimic caterpillar tracks. The Tank Francaise also has sharper edges and straighter lines than previous Tank models, giving it a more modern look.





Cartier Tank Anglaise Steel Rose Gold Watches
Cartier Tank Anglaise Steel Rose Gold Watches

Released in 2012, the Cartier Tank Anglaise is the latest line of Tank watches with designs for both men and women.

Two major changes were made with the Anglaise – first is the curved case, which moves away from the rectilinear shape of the original Tank and softens the look of the timepiece. Second is the table cut stone in place of the classic cabochon used in classic Tank watches. Additionally, the crown is also enclosed within the bezel, a feature that’s novel not just for Cartier but for watch design in general.





Cartier Tank MC Rose Gold Silver Dial Watch
Cartier Tank MC Rose Gold Silver Dial Watch

In keeping with the preference for larger watches, Cartier launched the Tank MC in 2013. The watch maintains Cartier’s iconic design DNA, but with a masculine edge. The larger display allows for the inclusion of a smaller seconds display and a date feature on top of the classic “rail-track” dial.

The “MC” stands for Manufacture Cartier, as the watch is powered by the first self-winding movement produced by Cartier Manufacture, the 1904 MC. A workhorse calibre, the movement features a highly efficient bidirectional “Magic Lever” winding mechanism and offers a 48-hour power reserve.





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