Cartier’s Revived Tank Normale Is Anything But Normal

The oldest Tank makes a triumphant return.

Cartier’s Revived Tank Normale Is Anything But Normal

Cartier is one of the watch world’s heaviest hitters, and at every Watches & Wonders, they release a truly stupendous number of new watches. But the release that captured our attention most was one that’s squarely for the collectors: the ‘new’ Tank Normale.

Back in 2017, Cartier launched Cartier Privé, a highly-limited collector’s range of timepieces that features contemporary interpretations of some of the Maison’s most classic models. These Privé releases consistently prove to be some of Cartier’s most interesting. Especially if you’re a watch nerd like me.

At Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023, Cartier’s added a new model to the Privé collection: the Tank Normale, which is modelled after the very first Cartier Tank from 1917. Designed by Louis Cartier, grandson of founder Louis-François Cartier, it’s modelled after the WWI Renault FT-17 tank – hence the name.

Cartier hasn’t just brought the Tank Normale back, though: they’ve brought it back in seriously luxe style, reimagining the somewhat understated Ur-Tank in precious metals and introducing a funky skeletonised take.

The Cartier Privé Tank Normale collection.

The Tank Normale is available in either platinum or yellow gold, and on either an alligator leather strap or a very retro seven-row bracelet. After having tried these bad boys on here in Geneva, it’s the latter I’d go for in a heartbeat – but god, they’re heavy. Especially in platinum. You feel every dollar… In a good way.

The skeletonised model just dials the bougie factor up to 11. The movement, which features an interesting combination of angular and circular armatures, features a 24-hour complication marked by a sun and crescent moon (that is also skeletonised).

What do we mean by that? Well, its minute hand turns around the dial in one hour as per normal, but the hour hand goes around in 24 hours instead of 12 hours. Actually reading the time on the Tank Normale Skeleton takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s also a bit of fun.

Actually, ‘a bit of fun’ is how we’d describe the rest of Cartier’s releases this year: a Santos Dumont Skeleton with a micro-rotor that pays homage to Alberto Santos-Dumont’s early aeroplanes; the crazy Clash [Un]limited with its futuristic bracelet; juicy new takes on the Baignoire… Head to Cartier’s online boutique to find out more.