Cartier’s approach to new products is often simply to deftly reboot a bestseller after a few years or even decades. That formula was applied with great acclaim to the Tank Must and Santos-Dumont (though the Pasha revival didn’t quite meet with the same commercial success). Now Cartier is doing it for the Tank Francaise.
First introduced in 1996 as the first Tank with an integrated bracelet, the Tank Francaise was a major seller for Cartier in the decade that followed. Though the model survived well into the 21st century, it remained essentially unchanged since its launch. Though visually similar to the original, new Tank Francaise is an entirely new watch, having undergone a major facelift that preserved the original outline while refining all the details.
Like many of Cartier’s other entry-level models, the Tank Francaise is an appealing design at a relatively affordable price. The large automatic model in steel, for instance, retails for under US$6,000.
It demonstrates how Cartier does best when it does little. The new design remains easily recognisable, even though every aspect has been revamped, ranging from the applied sticker numerals to the recessed crown. If you liked the original, you’ll probably like this one.
The biggest drawback of the new Tank Francaise is simply that most of the line up is quartz, which will disappoint aficionados of mechanical watches. In fact, only one version, the large model in steel, has an automatic movement. That said, based on past practice it is likely Cartier will fill out the range with more variants as soon as its commercial success is certain.
Geometric lines and a bracelet
The redesign of the Tank Francaise appears to be mostly about giving it better details and cleaner lines. So instead of the printed numerals of the original, for instance, it now gets applied metallic stickers that give the dial a little bit more depth.
Naturally the case and bracelet stick to the same design, but practically every detail has been revised. The crown, for example, is less prominent now as it sits in a recess on the side of the case. And the bracelet better integrates into the case design thanks to a single-piece end link and redesigned links that match the case in both style and thickness.
The new Tank Francaise is available in steel or 18k yellow gold. Both the steel and gold models are identical in terms of overall design, though they differ in terms of the dial. The gold models have a champagne-tone dial with radial brushing and black numerals, while the steel models have a silver dial and silver numerals.
The steel models are offered in three sizes, with only the large model being automatic, while the medium and small models are both quartz. But the gold models are only in medium or small, with the option of a diamond-set bezel.
The singular automatic model is powered by the cal. 1853 MC, an automatic movement with a 37-hour power reserve. It’s actually the Sellita SW150, a compact movement for ladies’ watches, explaining the short power reserve.
Key Facts and Price
Cartier Tank Francaise
Ref. CRWSTA0067 (large model, steel, automatic)
Ref. CRWSTA0074 (medium model, steel, quartz)
Ref. CRWSTA0065 (small model, steel, quartz)
Ref. CRWGTA0113 (medium model, yellow gold, quartz)
Ref. CRWGTA0114 (small model, yellow gold, quartz)
Diameter: Large 36.7 mm by 30.5 mm; medium 32 mm by 27 mm; small 25.7 mm by 21.2 mm
Height: Large 10.1 mm; medium 7.1 mm; small 6.8 mm
Material: Steel or 18k yellow gold
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: 1853 MC (Sellita SW150) for automatic model; or “high autonomy” quartz
Functions: Automatic has hours, minutes, seconds, and date; quartz has hours and minutes
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 37 hours
Strap: Matching bracelet
Limited edition: No
Availability: At Cartier boutiques and retailers
In steel, from 4,950 Singapore dollars for small model, to 7,700 Singapore dollars for large model
In gold, from 29,700 Singapore dollars for small model without diamonds, to 43,600 Singapore dollars for medium model with diamonds
For more, visit Cartier.com
Correction January 18, 2023: The 1853 MC is a Sellita calibre and not an in-house movement.Back to top.