The Cartier Tank is perhaps the most enduringly stylish watch ever created. A bold claim to be sure, but I think a justifiable one based on the Tank’s 1920s Art Deco aesthetic, sleek proportions and understated yet powerful design. Although, ‘sleek proportions’ is not necessarily true of every Tank subcollection, with the Française offering a thicker interpretation of the model. Now, Cartier have released seven new versions of the Tank Française, teaming up with Rami Malek and Guy Ritchie to celebrate the launch.
Six of the new Française are quartz pieces with the seventh being an automatic, so I’ll quickly run down the stats for the quartz models before taking a closer look at the mechanical model to what’s actually new. There are three small models (WSTA0065, WGTA0114 and WJTA0039) with dimensions of 25.7mm x 21.7mm x 6.8mm, available in stainless steel, yellow gold and yellow gold with diamonds. There are also three medium size versions (WSTA0074, WGTA0113 and WJTA0040) at 32mm x 27mm x 7.1mm, again available in steel, yellow gold or yellow gold with diamonds.
The Cartier Tank Française Automatic, as seen on the wrist of Rami Malek in a series of photos and a video directed by Guy Ritchie, is presented in a large case, with 36.7mm x 30.5mm x 7.1mm proportions in stainless steel. From a cursory glance, you might think not much has changed from previous editions of the Française but the beauty, is in the details.
Firstly, the broad surfaces have been given a uniform brushed finishing whereas previously it was a combination of brushing and polishing. This makes the lines much cleaner and lets your eye travel across the watch in a smooth flow, rather than picking out contrasting elements. Additionally, the crown has been pulled back into the caseband, so that it doesn’t protrude as far from the case.
In a similar vein, the bracelet end link that integrates with the case has been redesigned, so that the shapes flow together better. The bracelet itself is also more compact and tighter in its design, which looks better and will presumably feel better on the wrist too. All these case and bracelet adjustments are also seen across the quartz models, with the exception of the diamond references that feature additional diamonds across the case flanks and crown.
As for the dial, that too has seen only subtle changes. For one, the lines around the dial periphery and flanking the minute track are slightly recessed now, adding an element of layering to the display. Enhancing this effect is the fact the Roman numerals are now in relief, standing out from the dial and adding another level to the layers. It’s just enough of a change to make the collection feel new without radically altering the well-established DNA of the model.
Inside, it houses the Calibre 1853, an automatic movement based on the Sellita SW100-1. Considering that the SW200 is the norm these days, seeing the 100 version is a little surprising, especially as it only has a 37-hour power reserve. However, Cartier are working within the constraints of a unique case shape and small proportions, even though the automatic is the “large” edition. But even then, this the brand who brought us the Masse Mystérieuse, so it’s a little disappointing not to have a higher spec movement.
In terms of pricing, all 7 references have their own prices due to the differences in size and materials. Small steel (WSTA0065) – £3,700, medium steel (WSTA0074) – £4,070, large steel automatic (WSTA0067) – £4,950, small yellow gold (WGTA0114) – £19,100, small yellow gold with diamonds (WJTA0039) – £25,200, medium yellow gold (WGTA0113) – £22,300, and medium yellow gold with diamonds (WJTA0040) – £28,100. Now you just have to decide whether you’re a Française kinda person, a Tank Must person or maybe something more adventurous like the Santos de Cartier.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Cartier Tank Française (Large Steel Automatic)
- Ref: WSTA0067
- Case/dial: 36.7mm height x 30.5mm width x 10.1mm thickness, stainless steel case, silver toned dial
- Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
- Movement: Calibre 1853 (based on Sellita SW100-1), automatic, 25 jewels
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 37h
- Functions: Hours minutes, seconds and date
- Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
- Price/availability: £4,950