There are few legendary watch designs that have undergone as many transformations as Cartier’s iconic Tank. It’s been stretched (Tank Americaine), squished (Tank Divan), bent (Tank Asymmetrique) and stripped bare (Tank Must). But when it comes to updating the variants themselves, the changes are far from dramatic, and are always in the service of greater comfort and streamlined design. So if you can’t immediately tell what’s new in the relaunched Tank Francaise, know that it was entirely intentional.
Just like all the other Tank watches, the Tank Francaise bears the hallmark brancards of the original 1917 model, but was launched to great commercial success in 1996 as the first to appear with a metal bracelet. It had sharper angles and a square dial, and many other Cartier signatures including Roman numerals, sword-shaped hands and a blue cabochon in the crown.
The 2023 facelift retains all of those things, but now features a “monobloc” design as the first bracelet links are integrated into the case. The outer links of the bracelet are satin-brushed instead of polished, giving the entire watch a more modern, even industrial, aesthetic. The numerals are also applied rather than printed, and in silver, not black. The crown no longer protrudes as prominently from the case, increasing its overall sleekness.
There are seven references in total: four in gold, with or without diamonds, and three in steel. All are powered by a quartz movement save for the single large model in steel, which uses the automatic Calibre 1853 movement.
These understated adjustments give the already unisex Tank Francaise even wider appeal, especially with the new large model. You don’t have to take our word for it — just see how the watch transcends age, style and gender as it accompanies Rami Malek and Catherine Deneuve across the Alexandre III bridge in the Guy Ritchie-directed campaign video.