Cartier Tank Française: A Sporty Classic
With a metal link bracelet and compact case, the Française represents the Cartier Tank collection's sportier side. It is available as a men's or women's watch and comes in stainless steel, gold, or as a two-tone model.
The Casual Tank
Louis Cartier first designed the Tank in 1917. Over the years, this timepiece has become a true classic. The rectangular case with flanks that flow seamlessly into the lugs, the Art Deco dial with its characteristic Roman numerals, the cabochon on the crown: these are trademarks of the Tank to this day. That goes for the Tank Française as well, which Cartier first presented to the public in 1996.
The Tank Française strikes a sportier chord than its classically elegant kindred models like the Tank Louis Cartier or Tank Américaine. This is partly due to the watch's link bracelet, which was specially developed for the Tank Française and is somewhat reminiscent of the chains on a tank. Other relatively sporty attributes include the case, with its slightly more angular design, and the dial, which is almost square. The case also has a subtle curve to it that helps it nestle perfectly on the wrist.
The watch and bracelet come in stainless steel, or yellow or rose gold. Two-tone variants and models with diamond-set bezels are also available. Inside the luxury watch, you'll find a quartz or automatic ETA caliber. In terms of size, Cartier distinguishes between small, medium, and large, so there's a version to fit every wrist.
Cartier introduced several new variants of the Tank Française in the spring of 2023. One automatic model caused quite a stir, as it was presented in a short film starring Catherine Deneuve and Rami Malek. The film was directed by none other than British director Guy Ritchie.
Reasons to Buy a Tank Française
- The sportiest Cartier Tank model
- Bracelet designed specifically for this series
- Precise quartz and automatic ETA calibers
- Men's and women's models
- Available in stainless steel, gold, or as a two-tone watch
Prices at a Glance: Tank Française
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, size, caliber|
|Tank Française Medium, WJTA0040||35,000 USD||Yellow gold and diamonds, 32 x 27 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Medium, WJTA0023||29,700 USD||Rose gold and diamonds, 30 x 25 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Small, WGTA0031||19,900 USD||Yellow gold, 25 x 20 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Chronoflex, W50005R2||14,200 USD||Yellow gold, 37 x 28 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Medium, W2TA0003||6,600 USD||Stainless steel and gold, 30 x 25 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Large, WSTA0067||6,000 USD||Stainless steel, 36.7 x 30.5 mm, automatic|
|Tank Française Small, W51008Q3||3,700 USD||Stainless steel, 25 x 20 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Chronoflex, 2303||3,400 USD||Stainless steel and gold, 37 x 28 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Large, W51002Q3||3,000 USD||Stainless steel, 36.5 x 28.15 mm, automatic|
How much does the Tank Française cost?
In terms of price, stainless steel models are a good entry point into the world of the Tank Française. An unworn ref. W51002Q3 with a large case (36.5 x 28.15 mm) and automatic movement can be purchased for around 3,000 USD. Worn but well-maintained watches with the same reference number change hands for roughly the same amount. A medium model measuring 30 x 25 mm, like reference number WSTA0005, for example, demands an investment of approximately 4,300 USD in mint condition. A pre-owned ref. WSTA0005 will set you back about 3,100 USD.
The Tank Française ref. W51005Q4 is available in a large, two-tone version that differs from the stainless steel model only in that the crown and parts of the bracelet are made of 18-karat yellow gold. Plan to spend about 7,100 USD on one of these in mint condition, or 3,500 USD on average when worn.
Cartier also makes all three Tank Française sizes in solid yellow or rose gold. Prices vary by size and condition but generally fall between 19,500 and 24,500 USD. Diamond-studded editions like the ref. WJTA0023 require an even larger investment of up to 27,000 USD.
For one of the new Tank Française variants introduced in 2023, you'll need to budget anywhere between 6,000 and 35,000 USD. At the low end of this spectrum you'll find a large, stainless steel watch measuring 36.7 x 30.5 mm with an automatic movement. The ref. WJTA0040 sits at the high end of that price range. This 32 x 27 mm watch is made of yellow gold and intricately decorated with diamonds. It is powered by a precise quartz caliber.
Tank Française With a Chronograph Function
Until 2018, chronographs were also part of the lineup. The Tank Française Chronoflex measures 37 x 28 mm and is powered by a quartz caliber that offers hour and minute counters at 4 and 8 o'clock. The date display is located at 12. On older references like the 2303, this is a pointer date. The dial design also deviates a bit on this watch: The minute track at the edge of the dial is octagonal. Later versions of the Chronoflex, such as the ref. W51024Q3, feature the familiar rectangular lines. This model also has a panorama date display.
You can purchase a well-maintained stainless steel or two-tone Tank Française Chronoflex on Chrono24 for around 3,300 USD. A yellow gold Chronoflex on a leather strap will set you back about 6,200 USD. The same watch on an 18-karat yellow gold bracelet demands an investment of approximately 14,200 USD.