Tank Française Cartier Watches and Their History

Tank Française Cartier Watches

Cartier launched the Tank Americaine in 1989, and it was quite a successful debut. The watch found favor with both men and women audiences. The Tank Française then launched in Geneva in 1995. Coming in available at four sizes, the watch had two small ladies models with a quartz movement, an automatic caliber 120 and the largest Tank Française chronograph model powered by a Piaget Chronoflex.

The four watches initially available were in yellow-gold, a popular combination along with steel. Cartier expanded the Tank Française collection a year later with all steel models, making the series the first one available in steel. Some of the Tank models also had available bracelets, but the Tank Française had a built-in one. The links of these early watches were likened to the tanks of World War II.

The next year, a few additions were made to the collection, with ladies models featuring alligator straps or deployants. The non-bracelet Tank Française models were initially available as smaller ladies watches in gold with diamonds. A silk strap was initially used, making the Française a watch for evening outings. This gave the series a reputation for luxury and showmanship rather than practicality.

An automatic version featured the 32.7 x 28mm case and had two rows of 38 diamonds, including one on the crown. The watch compares to an evening dress or tuxedo in terms of its style and luxurious appearance. In contrast to the Tank Americaine, the Tank Française was available in solid gold rather than steel. This made the watch available to a wider audience, helping Cartier achieve a “must have” status with this series. The Tank Française eventually became the highest selling watch in Cartier’s catalogue.

The Tank Française Yearling also came out in a 36.5x30mm case. Despite its short lifespan, it was an exceptional watch. It had a chronograph presentation with alligator strap and deployant buckle. Both the Time Only version and the regular one are nice watches that can be seen on sale once in a while under the classification: Tank Française Yearling XXL.

The Tank Française series is among the most classic and memorable in the Cartier collection. They have since become an important part in the selection of Cartier Tanks.

Check out our shop page for details on where to find Cartier Tank Française watches.


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