Celebrating 100 Years Of The Iconic Cartier Tank – Part 2, The Important Early Models

Celebrating 100 Years Of The Iconic Cartier Tank – Part 2, The Important Early Models

Last week, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Cartier Tank, we brought you part.1 of our inside and out gander at this cutting edge symbol . Our emphasis was on the Tank Normale, the absolute first Tank at any point created, which made its introduction in 1917 (or 1919, contingent upon who you ask). This early model would lay the foundation for what has proceeded to become perhaps the most recognizable watch plans ever, leading to various variations and obviously homages from other brands. It also fills in as a testament to the idea that top notch, basic plans can stand the trial of time. A touch of karma and a couple of big name supports to a great extent certainly don’t hurt either! What has perhaps been generally fascinating about the Tank throughout the long term, in any case, is its mind blowing versatility. This was particularly apparent in the early Tank models, for example those made in the 1920’s and 1930’s, which we will be taking a gander at today. Each is totally different in its own particular manner, and yet each is unmistakably a Cartier Tank.

It’s not an exhaustive rundown we’ve assembled underneath but rather it includes a portion of our favorite models. Considering that, please feel free add any important ones you think we’ve missed in the comments below. 

1921 – Cartier Tank Cintrée

Nowadays, the original Tank Cintrée (French for ‘bended) would probably be considered excessively delicate for most men, who I daresay would pick the more masculine (and present day) Tank Américaine instead. For many admirers however, it is as yet viewed as the most elegant Tank at any point created. Disclosed in 1921, it featured an elongated case which is actually somewhat bended, guaranteeing a tapered fit on the wrist. It was more slender and more than the Tank Normale and the LC Tank, and regularly featured Breguet-style hands, further separating it from those two models. At its center, it was as yet unchanged plan, featuring four lines, with two parallel shafts on either side, however it had its own individual appeal on the wrist and might have simply been a separate assortment in its own right.

1922 – Cartier Tank Chinoise

At first glance, the Tank Chinoise, launched in 1922, resembles a marginally larger adaptation of the Tank Normale. Certainly, it offered a noticeably squarer, more compact looking case than the LC or the Cintrée. Look somewhat nearer, in any case, and you start to see the smaller details that make this a particularly fascinating watch. The overall plan was apparently propelled by the architecture of patios outside of Chinese sanctuaries. Seen front on, you can see that there are horizontal bars at the top and lower part of the case that sit atop the rectangular drags on either side and in fact expand marginally over the sides. The idea was to inspire the uncovered interlocking beams of the colonnade, squaring up the plan and concentrating on the focal point of the watch. Admittedly the impact is unobtrusive yet once you see it, it can’t be unseen.

1922 – Cartier Tank Louis Cartier

After the initial achievement of the Tank Normale, Mr. Cartier realized he required a solid development to guarantee the Tank stayed immovably implanted in the personalities of customers. With the uncovering of the Tank Louis Cartier – alluded to as the LC Tank amongst gatherers – he did exactly that. The LC Tank was larger than the Normale and had a more rectangular shape with smoother lines and a masculine vibe. Of course, it immediately gained popularity and consistently, various variants of the LC Tank have graced the wrists of artists, famous people, royalty, and so on. Indeed, even forward-thinking American painter, Pop Art figurehead and legend of the New York scene, Andy Warhol, was frequently photographed wearing his, although he supposedly never twisted it: “I don’t really wear a Tank to tell the time, I wear a Tank because it is the watch to wear!” he admitted once during a meeting. While others probably wind their watches first, I’m certain they share in his enthusiasm for the LC Tank’s immortal appeal. 

1928 –  Cartier Tank a Guichets

The Tank a Guichets was perhaps the most forward-looking and unusual Tank ever, which is probably why it’s also one of my favorites, although I’ve never had the advantage of seeing one in the tissue. The style was positively cutting edge – for the occasions at least, it was launched in 1928 after all! As you can see, there’s no real dial at all. Instead, there is a strong face with two windows, the best one for displaying the hopping hours (Cartier’s first since forever watch to feature such a complication) and the base for displaying the minutes, which were appeared on a rotating plate. It was, and still is, a revolutionary idea, offering a review of what was to come decades later with the advent of digital watches. In spite of the absence of a traditional dial, nonetheless, it is still unmistakably a Tank, by and by demonstrating the amazing variety of this model. 

1932 – Cartier Tank Basculante

I’ve always felt that with regards to reversible mechanical watches nothing really rivals the basic virtuoso of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, which is probably why it is as yet underway 86 years later. Ensuring the glass dials of watches became a greater amount of an issue in the 1930’s notwithstanding, as more clients chose they not just wanted to play sports like polo and cricket, however they also wanted to wear their watches at the same time. Various brands came up with arrangements, including Cartier, which released the Tank Basculante in 1932, a year after the Reverso made its presentation. This snazzy model featured a specially planned case that allowed part of the watch body to turn longwise (flip-over) inside a larger frame, consequently securing the glass of the dial during more demanding activities, similar to polo. To guarantee the crown was ensured as well, the winding mechanism was integrated into the case and situated at 12 o’clock.

1936 – Cartier Tank Asymétrique

When it comes to case shapes and plans, Cartier has always driven from the front. The actual Tank is a testament to this, I mean simply take a gander at how much variation you find in the cases of the models above, all of which were delivered inside a couple of years of each other. One model really stands apart from the group for me, nonetheless, the aptly named Tank Asymétrique, which was launched in 1936. All you require to think about this watch is in its name. The case is asymmetrical, and thusly, so is the dial, which changes the entire dynamic. 12 o’clock is currently in the upper right-hand corner, the crown is at 2 o’clock, it’s all somewhat strange. Strap the watch on the wrist, nonetheless, and you instantly realize how instinctive and easy it is to read the time without having to bring your arm towards yourself. Particularly supportive when you’re driving a car at high paces and don’t want to take your hands off the wheel (although you probably shouldn’t take your eyes off the road time frame in that situation.)


Of course, there are many, many more various variants of the Cartier Tank – 100 years is quite a while after all and we might have added more present day renditions, for example, the 1952 Tank Rectangulaire, the 1960 Mini Tank Allongée, the 1977 Tank Must, the 1980 Tank Américaine, the 1996 Tank Française or the 2012 Anglaise – so please share your favorites with us in the comments below.