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 evolved into a true classic. Defining features of the Tank include a rectangular case that seamlessly transitions into the lugs, an Art Deco dial with distinctive Roman numerals, and a cabochon-capped crown. Cartier remained true to this basic design when it introduced the Tank Française in 1996.
Compared to the classic and elegant Tank Louis Cartier and Tank Américaine, the Tank Française has a rather sporty appearance. One reason is its link bracelet, which Cartier developed specifically for this model and designed to mimic a tank's tracks. Another factor is the more angular case and almost square dial. Furthermore, the case is slightly domed and, thus, sits particularly comfortably on the wrist.
The Française is available in stainless steel, yellow gold, or rose gold. Cartier also produces two-tone models, as well as versions with diamond-studded bezels. Inside the watches, you'll find different quartz and automatic calibers supplied by Swiss movement manufacturer ETA. In terms of size, Cartier distinguishes between small (25 x 20 mm), medium (30 x 25 mm), and large (36.5 x 28.15 mm). While those with sizable wrists may gravitate toward the large models, all three sizes look great on smaller wrists.
5 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 type|
|Tank Française Medium, WJTA0023||26,000 USD||Rose gold and diamonds, 30 x 25 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Small, WGTA0031||18,000 USD||Yellow gold, 25 x 20 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Chronoflex, W50005R2||11,000 USD||Yellow gold, 37 x 28 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Medium, W2TA0003||5,600 USD||Stainless steel and gold, 30 x 25 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Chronoflex, 2303||3,200 USD||Stainless steel and gold, 37 x 28 mm, quartz|
|Tank Française Large, W51002Q3||3,100 USD||Stainless steel, 36.5 x 28.15 mm, automatic|
|Tank Française Small, W51008Q3||2,300 USD||Stainless steel, 25 x 20 mm, quartz|
How much does the Tank Française cost?
Stainless steel timepieces serve as the entry point into the Tank Française collection. You can purchase a small (25 x 20 mm) ref. W51008Q3 with a quartz movement for about 3,300 USD new and less than 2,400 USD pre-owned. If you'd prefer something a bit larger, you should take a closer look at the medium models, which have 30 x 25-mm cases. Plan to spend about 3,700 USD for a stainless steel ref. WSTA0005 in mint condition. The same timepiece costs roughly 2,300 USD used. Finally, the large ref. W51002Q3 changes hands for between 3,200 and 3,800 USD. This model gets its power from the automatic caliber 120, a modified version of the ETA 2000-1. You can easily recognize these watches by the date display at 6 o'clock.
The large edition is also available as a two-tone watch, which you can find under the reference number W51005Q4. The only difference between this timepiece and its stainless steel counterpart is that its crown and several other components are made of 18-karat yellow gold. This model changes hands for around 6,200 USD new and 3,600 USD used. The small and medium Tank Française editions also come in a two tone design. Depending on the watch's condition, expect to spend anywhere from 3,200 to 5,600 USD on one of these timepieces.
Cartier also produces all three Tank Française sizes in solid yellow or rose gold. Prices vary by size and condition but generally fall between 12,500 and 20,500 USD. Diamond-studded editions like the ref. WJTA0023 require an even larger investment of up to 27,000 USD.
The Tank Française With a Chronograph Function
Cartier produced a chronograph-edition Tank Française until 2018. Known as the Tank Française Chronoflex, this timepiece measures 37 x 28 mm and comes with a quartz caliber. Its dial features hour and minute counters at 4 and 8 o'clock, respectively, as well as a date display at 12. Older references like the 2303 are slightly different. They have a circular pointer date, and the minute track around the edge of their dials forms an octagon. Cartier returned to a rectangular minute track and panorama date window for later versions of the Chronoflex, such as the ref. W51024Q3.
You can purchase a well-maintained stainless steel or two-tone Tank Française Chronoflex on Chrono24 for between 2,900 and 3,200 USD. A yellow gold Chronoflex on a leather strap will set you back about 6,900 USD. The same watch on an 18-karat yellow gold bracelet demands around 11,000 USD.