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Tank Solo Watch
Iconic Designs

Tank Solo Watch

About the Design

It has graced the wrist of Andy Warhol, Princess Diana and Yves Saint Laurent, not to mention decorated American war generals. Designed in 1917, Cartier’s Tank watch just may be one of the most famous — and beloved — timepieces in history. In 2004, Cartier introduced the Tank Solo watch, which, according to the company’s description, “honors the unique aesthetic of the original Tank” with its “simple but contemporary design.”


The roots of Cartier’s Tank watch run back to the end of the first World War. Louis Cartier (1875–1942), grandson of the legendary French jewelry house’s founder Louis-François Cartier, was reportedly inspired by the shape of the French Renault FT-17 light tanks used on the Western Front and designed a timepiece whose shape mimicked the silhouette of the tank from above (and whose small-but-powerful movement paid homage to the compact power of the FT-17). Cartier presented the prototype of the Tank watch to General John Pershing of the American Expeditionary Force.


Despite its massive popularity now, over a century later, the Cartier Tank watch was quite a niche item for many years. In its inaugural year, only six were made, and for many years after that annual production was around 100 watches or less. But by the mid-20th century, it had become a popular timepiece for men and women alike: In 1963, Prince Stanisław Radziwiłł gifted one to his sister-in-law, Jacqueline Kennedy. That watch, which bears an inscription in Radziwiłł’s own handwriting, would go on to sell for $379,500 at auction — to a modern-day icon of sorts, Kim Kardashian.


In the years since its introduction, Cartier has expanded the Tank collection to include such versions as the Tank Louis Cartier, Tank Americaine and Tank Française, each of which riff in different ways on the original design. 


Much like the first Tank models, the Tank Solo watch is characterized by its rectangular case with rounded, metal edges (which seamlessly incorporate its lugs), a dial with serifed Roman numerals, blued-steel sword-shaped hands and a Cartier signature — the iconic crown of sapphire cabochon. Cartier now offers 11 models of the Tank Solo watch, including options in leather, stainless steel, yellow gold and rose gold, as well as a variety of sizes. It remains a favorite timepiece for its elegant, understated design — and perhaps a bit for its cachet, too.


Cartier Tank Solo Watch

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Item Location
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Cartier Stainless Steel Tank Solo Panther Watch Model 3170
By Cartier
Located in New York, NY
Cartier Stainless Steel Tank Solo Panther Watch Composition: Stainless Steel Original Leopard Print Leather Strap Quartz Movement c.2000s Made in Switzerland Includes a One Year Mech...
Category

Late 20th Century Wrist Watches

Materials

Steel, Stainless Steel

Cartier Tank Solo Rose Gold Steel Brown Dial Ladies Watch W5200024
By Cartier
Located in Atlanta, GA
Cartier Tank Solo Rose Gold Steel Brown Dial Ladies Watch W5200024. Quartz movement. 18k rose gold and steel back case 30.0 x 23.0 mm. Circular grained crown set with the blue spinel...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Wrist Watches

Materials

Rose Gold, 18k Gold

Cartier Tank Solo Silver Dial Steel Men's Watch W5200014 Papers
By Cartier
Located in Atlanta, GA
Cartier Tank Solo Silver Dial Steel Mens Watch W5200014 Papers. Quartz movement. Stainless steel case 27.0 x 34.0 mm. Circular grained crown set with the blue spinel cabochon. Scratc...
Category

2010s Wrist Watches

Materials

Stainless Steel

Cartier Tank Solo XL Silver Dial Automatic Steel Men's Watch W5200028
By Cartier
Located in Atlanta, GA
Cartier Tank Solo XL Silver Dial Automatic Steel Mens Watch W5200028. Automatic self-winding movement. Stainless steel case 31.0 x 40.85 mm. Circular grained crown set with the blue ...
Category

Early 2000s Wrist Watches

Materials

Stainless Steel

Cartier Tank Solo XL Silver Dial Automatic Steel Men's Watch W5200028
By Cartier
Located in Atlanta, GA
Cartier Tank Solo XL Silver Dial Automatic Steel Mens Watch W5200028. Automatic self-winding movement. Stainless steel case 31.0 x 40.85 mm. Circular grained crown set with the blue ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Wrist Watches

Materials

Stainless Steel

Cartier Tank Solo XL Silver Dial Steel Men’s Watch W5200028
By Cartier
Located in Atlanta, GA
Cartier Tank Solo XL Silver Dial Steel Mens Watch W5200028. Automatic self-winding movement. Stainless steel case 31.0 x 40.85 mm. Circular grained crown set with the blue sapphire c...
Category

Early 2000s Wrist Watches

Materials

Stainless Steel

Cartier Tank Solo XL Silver Dial Steel Men’s Watch W5200028
By Cartier
Located in Atlanta, GA
Cartier Tank Solo XL Silver Dial Steel Mens Watch W5200028. Automatic self-winding movement. Stainless steel case 31.0 x 40.85 mm. Circular grained crown set with the blue sapphire c...
Category

Early 2000s Wrist Watches

Materials

Stainless Steel

Cartier Tank Solo Silver Roman Rectangle Dial Steel Ladies Quartz Watch W5200005
By Cartier
Located in New York, NY
This pre-owned Cartier Tank W5200005 is a beautiful Ladie's timepiece that is powered by quartz (battery) movement which is cased in a stainless steel case. It has a rectangle shape...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Modern Wrist Watches