Many variations on the theme, the Cartier Tank recently celebrated a centennial of watchmaking elegance. It’s historical irony that an accessory of such beauty was heralded by an instrument of war, inspired by Renault F17 World War I tank, Louis Cartier designed the original Cartier Tank watch as a gift for General John Pershing of the American Expeditionary Force. Encompassing a wide variety of styles, the Tank has been among the most versatile of Cartier watches, available in flavours like Tank Cintrée, the Tank Anglaise, the Tank Francaise, the Tank Louis Cartier, and the Tank Allongeé.
A Centennial of Elegance: New Cartier Tank Americaine In Stainless Steel
As an exemplar, the rectangular watch designed and produced in 1917, the Cartier Tank is undoubtedly one of the seminal watchmaking icons of our time. Although one doesn’t quite see the resemblance from the fore of the Renault Tank, one can hazard a guess from blueprint cross sections of the World War I F17 that the general elongated ‘H’ shape of the Cartier Tank’s case flanks can be ascribed to the Renault’s tank treads. Nevertheless, the new Cartier Tank Americaine In Stainless Steel is an entirely different creature altogether.
Taking muse from the 1921 Tank Cintrée, the original Cartier Tank Americaine was introduced in 1989. Positioned as a dress watch of utmost elegance, the Tank Americaine was available only in precious metals. For 2017, during the 100th anniversary of Cartier’s eponymous Tank, the maison is re-vamping and releasing a new Cartier Tank Americaine, this time in steel.
A trio of watches, the new Tank Americaine is a collection of three watches similar stainless steel watches, differentiated by their case proportions- the smallest of the three steel Cartier Tank Americaines measures 34.8mm x 19mm, and though driven by a quartz movement, the maison has opted to eschew the seconds hand, bequeathing it with a highly desirable aura of watchmaking purity. The middle of the three, the medium sized steel Tank Americaine measures 41.6mm x 22.6mm while the largest of the trio is proportioned 45.1mm x 26.6mm. The latter two steel Tanks are driven by an ETA automatic movement.
Aesthetically, all three are similarly appointed with silvered dial, decorated with a brushed center and then dressed with elongated Roman numerals which serve as a defacto border for the dial’s edge. That said, we would be remiss to not mention the characteristic sapphire cabochon in the crown- a signature motif on all Cartier watches
New Steel Cartier Tank Americaine Price and Availability
The new Steel Cartier Tank Americaine is priced US$4,000 for the smallest, US$5,100 for the midsized, and US$5,750 for the largest.