At Watches & Wonders there was a lot of talk about Cartier and the new Tank Normale, one of the most beautiful watches of this year in my opinion. The success of the Normale overshadowed another highly successful reissue, the Tank Américaine, which more than 30 years after its launch and various restylings, returns with a design that has been harmonized and has improved its strengths: the shape and minimalism.
The birth of the Tank Américaine
Launched in 1989, Tank Américaine is inspired by the Tank Cintrée model, from which it borrows the curvature of the case, but declined in a contemporary design with less refined lines. The thickness is in fact greater than the Cintrée, as is the width of the brancards. The first Américaines were small compared to the more generous shapes of the years to come, and powered by quartz movements with small seconds or moon phases. We had to wait until 1993 to see a large Tank Américaine, 44 x 27mm, with a 430 MC mechanical movement.
In its relatively short life, the Tank Américaine has been the subject of numerous interpretations – especially in noble materials such as white gold and platinum – which, in my opinion, find the perfect synthesis in the CPCP collection: dials made of solid gold and often with a strong hand-turned guilloche pattern. The caseback was also curved and without external flares, just like the Tank Cintrée.
The new Tank Américaine
The new Tank Américaine presented during Watches & Wonders 2023 is very close in detail to the CPCP version but has a fresher and more contemporary touch. The curvature of the case has been enhanced, with the case back that follows its shape perfectly and increasing its comfort on the wrist. A detail, some of you may think, which nonetheless makes the difference since it determines how the watch will fit on your wrist.. and this is the best solution.
The sizes proposed for the new Tank Américaine are: the Mini (28 x 15,2 mm), the Small Model (35,4 x 19,4 mm) and the Large Model (44,4 x 24,4 mm). The materials used for the case are steel or pink gold.
The touch of style that makes them very contemporary, compared to the previous versions, is the choice of the satin silver-colored dial that falls within the stylistic codes of modern Cartier watches. The hands are sword-shaped and blued steel, while the glass is sapphire.
The two new Grande size versions are equipped with the new 1899 MC movement designed for thinner cases. Both come with an alligator strap – blue for steel and gray for rose gold – and interchangeable folding clasp.
The new Tank Américaine also inaugurates the first adjustable bracelet adapted to the famous folding buckle for which Cartier registered the patent in 1910.
I admit it, in expressing my opinion on this model I am biased: I love the Tank Américaine. I have always considered it the worthy heir of the Tank Cintrée and its right alternative for smaller budgets. For this I had high expectations in this new edition, and I was not disappointed.
Cartier has finally understood that in order to look ahead, it is certainly necessary to evolve, but in the wake of its tradition. Without distorting his strengths as he did in the past with XL speakers, or less ergonomic solutions. In fact, the Tank Américaine is a perfectly successful watch: in terms of the case, it has taken the strengths of the best interpretations of the past and made them 'accessible' to everyone, not just a limited number of collectors. The dial has been exploited throughout its perimeter, without focusing only on the center of it. Furthermore, the new satin silver finish gives it a contemporary touch that makes it even more versatile.
The only indecision is: steel or pink gold? Let us know what you think in the comments!