One of the most coveted wristwatches of all time, the Cartier Tank Américaine, not to be confused with the Cartier Tank Solo is a true classic. Originally designed to honour the tanks found on World War I battlefields, the Américaine version was created in 1989 to capture the American spirit.
Powerful and elegant, this watch is a true icon for many reasons.
In 1989, the Cartier Tank was introduced but did not enter production until the next year, when only six were made. A prototype of the watch was presented to General John Pershing, the commander of the American Expeditionary Force on the Western Front during World War I. Insisting on operating as a single unit rather than integrate with the British and French forces; Pershing was legendary for his American spirit.
The Cartier Tank was designed to pay honour to the tanks fighting on the WWI Western Front, with a rectangular shape in proportion to the heavy artillery. Variations have been made to the design over the years, but the classic shape has become instantly recognizable as a Cartier Tank.
In 1989, the Cartier Tank Américaine style was introduced to mark a historic era, adapted with subtle elegance to appeal to the American tastes, which ran toward larger watches. The style has remained a success and the watch continues to enjoy legendary status among enthusiasts and collectors.
The Cartier Tank Américaine represents the perfect marriage between technical advancement and geometric style. The two side pieces connect the strap to the case of the watch harmoniously, creating a perfect aesthetic achievement that remains unequaled in the market.
The case of the Cartier Tank was redesigned in 1921 to introduce a curved shape, which lies along the wrist perfectly. Worn by Princess Diana, Jackie Kennedy, romantic screen actor Rudolph Valentino and legendary pop art guru Andy Warhol, the Tank has enjoyed celebrity status throughout its long and varied history.
Featuring bold Roman numerals on the dial, the Cartier Tank Américaine features blue steel sword-shaped hands and the Cartier classic cabochon sapphire on the end of the crown. These are the constants that define a true Cartier, especially the sapphire crown. The medium size measures 42 mm x 23 mm and the smaller model is 35 mm x 19 mm. If you want to go larger, the 45 mm x 27 mm size is also available, which still works nicely on any size wrist.
Precious metals are available including white and yellow gold, platinum and trendy rose gold. You cannot go wrong with the most popular metal, which is stainless steel and plays up the features of the Américaine model perfectly. The strap is available in coordinating metals to the case as well as semi-matte alligator skin leather.
The years have been kind to the Cartier Tank Américaine, giving it new life with each passing redesign that included date functions, chronographs and other technology. There are three sizes of the steel model Américaine, with the smallest having a quartz movement and the medium and large with automatic movements.
The movement inside is an ETA 2671, which is a small, 17.2 mm diameter with 25 jewels that give the Cartier Tank Américaine a 38 hour power reserve. This movement is known throughout the collector world as compact and reliable, which is well suited to the Américaine case size. Though unconfirmed by Cartier, their new 1847 MC movement, which is being made in-house, is positioned to replace the ETA movements found in this and many other Cartier models.
Rectangular, proud lines give the Cartier Tank Américaine a look like no other watch in history. Regardless of the vintage, you can be the proud owner of this iconic Cartier Tank Américaine for as low as £3,440.