By Nancy Olson
Full disclosure: the Cartier Tank is one of my all-time favorite timepieces, and I have kept one in my regular wristwatch rotation for the last 20-plus years. So it is exciting to see that this icon of the House of Cartier is maintaining its status with fresh perspectives for 2023. New watches are making their debut in each of three emblematic collections: the Tank Américaine, Tank Française and Tank Louis Cartier.
Aside from its great looks, my affection for the Tank is due in part to its solid provenance, sophistication, and its capacity to not take itself too seriously, embracing innovative elements as time and trends suggest. In other words, it features many of the things I appreciate in a watch all rolled into one. Since its introduction in 1917, the Tank has never stood still for long, and this year’s collection — first unveiled at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023 — demonstrates that this close-knit family still has many places to travel.
The 2023 Tank Americaine comprises new models with nuanced refinements exhibited on the case and integrated lugs. These add a splash of modernization and serve to further reinforce the timelessness of the original 1989 launch.
There are several variations available in mini, small and large sizes—with or without diamonds—in steel, rose gold, and white gold. Most are on alligator leather straps, though there are a couple of variations with a metal bracelet designed especially for the Américaine. The large version is equipped with the automatic 1899 MC movement.
Launched in 1996, the Tank Française debuted with a metal bracelet. This year’s model continues the tradition, fitted with a revamped interpretation whose ergonomic curved shape makes this quartz timepiece comfortable for just about every wrist.
The new steel-and-diamond model features 22 brilliant-cut stones flanking the sunray-brushed dial, while blued sword-shaped hands and Roman numerals mark the time. The small version measures 25.7 mm x 21.2 mm, and the medium model is 32 mm x 27 mm.
Tank Louis Cartier
In an homage to the Tank Must dials from the 1970s, two new variations of the Tank Louis Cartier feature dials created using yellow, rose, and white gold in grid-like patterns. With a yellow or rose gold case and alligator straps in taupe gray or dark blue respectively, each is equipped with the manually wound 1917 MC movement.
The gold dials of these watches is vintage inspired and each has a truly alluring appeal. One version in yellow gold boasts a tiny checkerboard partner that, at the top of the dial, is white and silver and then graduates to yellow gold hues and eventually light brown hues at the bottom of the dial. It is a spectacular look. The pink gold version features larger, rectangular grids in alterations colors of rose, yellow and white gold hues.
Two additional models, in yellow gold, are all about color. One has a burgundy lacquer dial and matching alligator leather strap, while the other has a green dial and coordinating strap. The minimalist dials let the rich color speak for itself, with sword-shaped hands and a discreet Cartier logo just below 12 o’clock. The 1917 MC movement drives these models as well.