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Cartier Tank Normale Yellow Gold Watch Review

Cartier Tank Normale Yellow Gold

Back in 2017 Cartier introduced their Privé collection, serving as a platform to revisit iconic watches of the past and create limited, contemporary iterations of historic designs. Last year we had the Tank Chinoise, the Cloche De Cartier in 2021 and for 2023 it’s the turn of the Cartier Tank Normale. Originally designed in 1917 by Louis Cartier and brought into production in 1919, it is the very first Cartier Tank design. Famously inspired by the WW1 Renault FT-17 tank, with its square yet rectangular shape it was produced in extremely limited numbers.

Cartier Tank Normale Yellow Gold

For the modern collection, there are five variations: two 18K yellow gold, two platinum and two skeletonised variations all limited in production. For the purposes of this review, we will be looking at the yellow gold version on the bracelet (Ref WGTA0110) which will be limited to 100 pieces.

My first thoughts are that it’s reasonably faithful to the original design with the bevelled sapphire crystal slightly distorting the view of the white/grey dial. The hands differ from the original normal in that they are sword shaped but match the original with the blued steel colour while the rail track is identical with a matching blue sapphire cabochon.

Cartier Tank Normale Yellow Gold

Despite its demure sizing of 32.6mm x 25.7mm it’s a hefty weight of metal, even more so in platinum. Of course, the bracelet is not faithful to the original design, but it elevates the piece from stealth-wealth watch to serious wrist candy. The finishing on the bracelet is matte which provides a modern twist, but works nicely with the satin brushed case. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a more faithful design, stick to the alligator leather strap, but on the wrist, the deployment buckle bracelet is incredibly comfortable.

Cartier Tank Normale Yellow Gold

Inside you have the manual wind calibre 070 which has a power reserve of 36 hours. The movement isn’t a manufacture number which is something that is perhaps a little unexpected at this price point, but at least there’s precedent; the very first Tanks had outsourced Jaeger Le-Coultre movements.. Really, you’re unlikely to be considering the Normale for its mechanical pedigree but likely from a historical standpoint, so the movement is perhaps a lesser concern.

As one would expect, the watch isn’t water resistant to any degree. Priced at roughly £37,100 it’s by no means accessible but the understated elegance of the design along with its limited nature culminate in a refined, unrivalled sophistication.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Cartier Tank Normale 18k Yellow Gold
  • Ref: WGTA0110
  • Case/dial: 32.6mm height x 25.7mm width x 6.85mm thickness, 18k yellow gold case
  • Movement: Cartier calibre 070, manual winding, 21 jewels, 82 parts
  • Frequency: 25,200 vph (3.5 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 38h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes
  • Strap: 18k yellow gold bracelet
  • Price/availability: $46,400 (approx. £37,100)

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About the author

Tom Pettit

Born into a family of watch lovers, Tom is both co-founder of Oracle Time and the driving force behind its creative direction. A lover of retro watch design, surfing and the great outdoors his usual glasses are nicely rose-tinted.