Cartier Tank Francaise

Sold for: $1,700.00

The History

Andy Warhol famously said, “I don’t wear a Tank to tell the time. In fact, I never wind it. I wear a Tank because it’s the watch to wear”. That pretty much sums up everything that you need to know about the Cartier Tank. It is the definition of cool and has been since it debuted in 1917. Over its illustrious history, it has graced the wrists of such style icons as Clark Gable, Fred Astair, Duke Ellington, Jackie Kennedy, and Princess Diana. Calling this watch chic is an understatement.

The Cartier Tank was the brainchild of Louis Cartier, who was the grandson of the original founder. The story goes that he was inspired by the treads on a Renault FT-17 light tank and used it for the basis of his design. He then gifted the first watch to American general John Pershing. Over the next 100 years, Cartier would use the Tank architecture as the foundation for many variations. From the Cintree to the Chinoise and the Francaise seen here, each variation has added to the legacy and iconic nature of the Tank line.

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The Reference

The Tank Francaise was an instant success when Cartier released the new model in 1995. The inspiration for the watch, much like the original Tank watch, was indeed a tank. How the designers at Cartier communicated that message was a bit different for this line than for previous tank watches. What the designers decided to focus on was the treads of a tank and they used the bracelet of the Tank Fancaise to tell much of that story. Additionally, this was the first Tank model to be offered completely in stainless steel which helped further communicate the tank treads that they were emulating. The resulting design is instantly classic and has remained a staple of the Tank collection since its introduction. Today, the Tank Francaise can be had in yellow gold, rose gold, two-tone and stainless steel in three different sizes all featuring a quartz movement. This particular watch is the 21mm size in stainless steel.

This example was purchased by the current owner from TheRealReal, and has been worn sparingly since. The watch comes with its complete set of box, papers, and tags, as well as all of its original links.

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The Case and Bracelet

The 21mm stainless steel case and accompanying bracelet with all of its original links are in excellent condition. Scratches are nearly non-existent and all of the original factory finishing is shown. The watch has all of its original components including the classic Cartier octagonal crown set with a synthetic cabochon-shaped spinel. The case measures 6.15mm thick and is water resistant up to 100 feet.

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The Dial and Hands

The dial is classic Cartier with roman numerals surrounding a railroad motif and a hidden signature in the X at 10 o’clock. The blued steel hands are equally as classic and appear to be in excellent condition.

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The Movement

The Cartier signed quartz movement is in good running order, keeping accurate time.


Seller Sgwatts
Auction Number 218
Location New Jersey
Brand Cartier
Model Tank Francaise
Reference Number W51008Q3
Movement Cartier Signed Quartz
Year 2013
Dial White
Case Width 21mm
Case Material Stainless Steel
Band Material Stainless Steel
Clasp Type Deployant
Original Box Yes
Original Papers Yes
Seller Type Individual

Sold for: $1,700.00

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