Cartier Tank Solo: A Rectangular Classic
The Cartier Tank Solo shares its rectangular case, blue spinel cabochon crown, and Roman numerals with the original Tank from 1917. The collection's highlight is the automatic Tank Solo XL in rose gold.
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A Modern Take on an Industry Icon
Within the watch industry, the Cartier Tank is an undisputed classic. Its simple, rectangular design was a stroke of genius from Louis Cartier, who took inspiration from the tanks used in World War I upon the watch's conception in 1917.
The Tank Solo series was introduced in 2004 as an especially faithful re-creation of the original. These timepieces have everything that made the first Tank such a success: a rectangular case with elongated left and right sides that transition seamlessly into the lugs, a beaded crown with a blue cabochon, and a unique dial. The dial of course features black Roman numerals on a white background, as well as a central railroad minute track.
Cartier offers the Tank Solo in three sizes for men and women. The different models are available in stainless steel, yellow gold, or rose gold. Each timepiece comes on either a high-quality leather strap or a link bracelet in stainless steel or gold.
Smaller watches get their power from quartz calibers, while the XL models use automatic calibers from Swiss movement manufacturer ETA. You can easily recognize the automatic versions by the date display at 6 o'clock.
5 Reasons to Buy a Tank Solo
- Distinctive rectangular case
- Blue spinel cabochon on the crown
- Men's and women's models
- Roman numerals and tempered sword hands
- Tank Solo XL with an automatic movement
Prices for the Tank Solo
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, size, caliber type|
|Tank Solo XL, W5200026||9,100 USD||Rose gold, 40.85 × 31 mm, automatic|
|Tank Solo Large, W5200004||5,900 USD||Yellow gold, 34.8 × 27.4 mm, quartz|
|Tank Solo Small, W5200002||5,400 USD||Yellow gold, 31 × 24.4 mm, quartz|
|Tank Solo Large, WSTA0028||3,500 USD||Stainless steel, 34.8 × 27.4 mm, quartz|
|Tank Solo Small, W5200013||2,500 USD||Stainless steel, 31 × 24.4 mm, quartz|
How much does a Tank Solo cost?
Prices for a mint-condition Tank Solo begin around 2,500 USD. This amount will get you a quartz-powered stainless steel timepiece in size small (ref. W5200013). At 31 × 24.4 mm, it makes a fantastic women's watch. You can find this reference pre-owned on Chrono24 for under 2,000 USD.
This size is also available in gold. Plan to spend roughly 5,400 USD for an unworn ref. W5200002 in yellow gold. The rose gold edition bears the reference number W5200024 and costs slightly more at about 5,800 USD.
The collection's unisex models measure 37.8 × 27.4 mm and are otherwise identical to their smaller counterparts. You can choose from a stainless steel or gold case. Prices for a new timepiece range from around 3,500 USD for the stainless steel ref. WSTA0028 to roughly 5,200 USD for the gold ref. W5200025.
With cases measuring 40.85 × 31 mm, the XL editions are intended as men's watches. Furthermore, the Tank Solo XL is the only model in this collection to feature an automatic caliber. More specifically, it uses a modified ETA 2892 with a date display at 6 o'clock.
You can buy the Tank Solo XL ref. W5200028 with a stainless steel case and bracelet for about 3,900 USD new and 3,200 USD pre-owned. The version with a rose gold case and crocodile leather strap costs 9,100 USD in mint condition. The same Tank Solo XL changes hands for roughly 6,500 USD pre-owned.
Tank Louis Cartier With Diamonds
If you appreciate the Tank Solo's simple elegance but also enjoy watches with diamonds, you should take a closer look at the Tank Louis Cartier. Cartier crafts these timepieces out of white or rose gold and adorns their bezels with 43 diamonds. The manual in-house caliber 430 MC ticks away inside the case.
Prices for a Tank Louis Cartier vary by size (small, large, or XL) and range from 18,500 to 38,000 USD.
The Tank Louis Cartier collection is also home to more modern versions of this timeless classic. For example, the Tank Louis Cartier Skeleton ref. WHTA0002 does without the Art Deco dial entirely. Instead, sapphire crystal on the front and back enables you to view the intricately skeletonized in-house caliber 9622 MC at work from above and below. This watchmaking treasure can be yours for around 48,000 USD.