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.
A Modern Take on an Industry Icon
Within the watch industry, the Cartier Tank is an undisputed classic. Its simple, rectangular design is a product of none other than Louis Cartier himself. In 1917, while Europe was still in the throes of World War I, Cartier saw the tanks on the battlefield and was inspired to design a timepiece in a similar style.
The Tank Solo is an especially faithful re-creation of the original. Introduced in 2004, this collection has 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, and a unique dial. The dial 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 ebauché 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 at a Glance: Tank Solo
|Model/Reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, size, caliber type|
|Tank Solo XL, W5200026||5,900 USD||Rose gold, 40.85 x 31 mm, automatic|
|Tank Solo Large, W5200004||5,000 USD||Yellow gold, 34.8 x 27.4 mm, quartz|
|Tank Solo Small, W5200002||4,200 USD||Yellow gold, 31 x 24.4 mm, quartz|
|Tank Solo Small, W5200013||2,700 USD||Stainless steel, 31 x 24.4 mm, quartz|
|Tank Solo Large, WSTA0028||2,300 USD||Stainless steel, 34.8 x 27.4 mm, quartz|
How much does a Tank Solo cost?
Prices for a mint-condition Tank Solo begin around 2,400 USD. This will get you a quartz-powered stainless steel timepiece from the Small series (ref. WSTA0030). At 31 x 24.4 mm, it makes a fantastic women's watch. You can find this reference pre-owned on Chrono24 for as little as 1,900 USD. This size is also available in gold. Plan to spend roughly 4,400 USD for a never-worn ref. W5200002 in yellow gold. The rose gold edition bears the reference number W5200024 and costs slightly more at about 4,500 USD. In very good condition, both gold versions demand around 3,600 USD.
The collection's unisex models measure 37.8 x 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 2,600 USD for the stainless steel ref. WSTA0028 to 5,000 USD for the gold ref. W5200025. Depending on its condition, you can save between 350 and 950 USD by purchasing a pre-owned model.
With cases measuring 40.85 x 31 mm, the XL editions are genuine 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 get your hands on a Tank Solo XL ref. W5200028 with a stainless steel case and bracelet for about 3,600 USD new and 3,000 USD pre-owned. The version with a rose gold case and crocodile leather strap demands prices starting around 7,200 USD in mint condition. The same watch changes hands for roughly 5,900 USD used.
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 16,500 to 26,500 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 41,000 USD.
Other Versions of the Tank
The Cartier Tank has taken various forms since its introduction in 1917. While the basic design has remained largely unchanged, the different series set themselves apart from each other in their finer details, including their proportions and case sizes. For example, the Tank Américaine has a domed and comparatively long case that sits beautifully on the wrist. A quartz-powered yellow gold Tank Américaine in very good condition costs around 9,000 USD. On the other hand, a larger model with an automatic ETA-based caliber will set you back about 12,000 USD.
The Tank Française is the sporty member of the Tank family and has more square proportions. Until recently, it was also available with a stopwatch function. The ref. 1830 with a quartz movement is one such chronograph. Its hour and minute counters sit at 4 and 8 o'clock, respectively. Cartier also outfitted this model with a pointer date at 12 o'clock. At 36 x 28 mm, the 1830 is a great choice for men and women alike. This yellow gold watch comes on a matching gold bracelet and sells for about 6,900 USD in very good condition.