"Tank" is a name applied to many Cartier watches, and it's widely known by watch fans. But no records can confirm where the name came from. Most people agree it actually does refer to military tanks. It is an amusing reality that mechanized warfare lent a name to genteel luxury watch making.
Many of us think maybe the name is for the "Tank" shape, other people say that the watch is supposed to look like tank treads. Others say the shape is less important than the fact that it was a French way of honoring American tanks that helped secure victory in World War I, however, there is also others argue that it doesn't. It is a fascinating little mystery and one that I enjoy as it shows even huge brands like Cartier had humble beginnings. Wherever the Tank name came from, it is here to last - and is a cornerstone of Cartier watch making.
In 2012, the Tank family gets a new member-- the "English Tank." This old chap is built like a tank as well - at least in this larger size for us burly men. Initially available only in 18k white gold, it is a strong reminder that elegance doesn't have to be puny. There are smaller versions available as well. This "Large model" Tank Anglaise is 36.2mm wide and 47mm tall. The case is not too thick at 9.82mm.
For the new replcica Tank, it's a sort of hybrid between the Tank Francaise and the Ballon Bleu, which means the sides of the case are richly rounded making it feel thicker, and the crown is placed in the middle of a very thick bezel. This offers a flush look on the sides of the watch. The complex crown is cool looking and contains a large sapphire crystal cabochon. I like how the crown is not too small and combines both angular and organic design elements.
Put it on the wrist, the case is comfortable and as always, the bracelet is top-notch in construction and design. Thank you Cartier for not letting the bracelet fall by the wayside like so many other brands who just throw straps on their watches. The dial design is hardly surprising, nor hardly a let down. It offers the look Cartier lovers want. Here the signature Cartier dial is silvered with blued steel hands and some central decor. The case seems like it could handle more than the 30 meters of rated water resistance, which means a basic level of water resistant, but it cannot be put into water nor be washed. If you have special demand on this, please consult our customer service online for help.. The mixture of brushed and polished areas on the case is very becoming of the design.
Inside the watch is an automatic movement, it is a simple three hand with the date. An ETA would have worked, but Cartier wanted the Tank Anglaise to have a bit more oomph. You can see the movement via the exhibition caseback.
While the design of the replica watch is hardly revolutionary and it is certainly evolutionary. It gives Tank fans a new item to lust after and lets Cartier continue their love affair with the product family by adding new products. The French, Americans, and now English each have a Cartier tank design to call their own.