Never Stop Tank: Cartier’s Homage to a Historic Watch Design

Jul 09, 2012

Few wristwatches can enjoy the extensive history that the Cartier Tank claims. Developed in 1917 by Louis Cartier himself, the Cartier Tank was the elegant solution to the problem of how to make a timepiece work with a wristband. Although not the first wristwatch design, the Cartier Tank was the first watch concept that brought a sense of style and finesse back into the complex art of wristwatch designs.

Andy Warhol wearing Cartier Tank

The design of the Cartier Tank was brilliantly simple: a rectangular case with a sapphire cabochon for the crown, a design inspired by the Renault tanks that Louis Cartier saw on the Western Front. Some of the metal bracelet designs for these watches were based on the indentations from the caterpillar tracks of these tanks. With this classic and clean look, the Cartier Tank became an instant favorite among celebrities such as Jackie Onassis, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, and many more.

Truman Capote wearing Cartier Tank

Only six models of the Cartier Tank were sold in 1919. Today, the Tank Francaise is one of Cartier’s most popular watch models to date. Today, Cartier is re-defining this classic and is releasing a new model of the Tank, known as the Tank Anglaise. This new Tank adheres to Louis Cartier’s original design principals of purity, geometry, and simplicity. This beautiful new Tank has an exquisitely curved design and will only be available in 18 karat white gold for 2012, though new models will surely make their appearance in the next few months.

Watch Specifications: Tank Anglaise Large Model W5310025

• Self-winding mechanical manufacture movement caliber Cartier 1904MC, transparent back with sapphire crystal

• Hours, minutes, seconds, date

• silvered and lacquered finque dial
• Roman numerals
• scratch resistant sapphire crystal
• blued-steel sword-shaped hands

• 47mm x 36.2mm
• 9.82mm thick
• Water Resistance: 30 meters
• 18 karat white gold bezel
• 18 karat white gold case

Strap and buckle:
• 18 karat white gold rhodium plated white gold bracelet




King Jewelers is an authorized Cartier watch dealer in Nashville, Tennessee. We offer first-class service, expert product knowledge, and complete watch repair services on all Cartier watches. King Jewelers sells and services Cartier watches for the entire Central South region including Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and all of Tennessee. For more information regarding Cartier watches and the Ballon Bleu collection, please visit our Cartier brand education page or visit Also, feel free to explore the Cartier collection through our website.


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