The Refreshed Cartier Tank Américaine LM
The new LM case size of the Tank Américaine is leaner, more compact, less curved and powered by a new automatic movement.
Cartier is putting on an impressive show at Watches & Wonders this year. Among the novelties is a revisited collection of the elegant Tank Américaine, a Tank watch with an elongated and curved rectangular case introduced in 1989. Ultimately all Tank watches owe their origins to the cult 1917 Tank watch made by Louis Cartier, who took inspiration from Renault’s tanks in use on the Western Front. Although eleven Tank Américains are presented in three different sizes, only two models (LM) are equipped with Cartier’s new automatic movement. Available in stainless steel and 18k pink gold, the resized LM models respect the iconic codes of the Tank Américaine but feature subtle design tweaks for a more harmonious and balanced look.
The Tank Américaine of 1989 followed the design tenets of the curved, ergonomic silhouette of Louis Cartier’s iconic Tank Cintrée of 1921 but introduced rounded brancards (case sides and lugs) and a restyled chemin de fer (railroad) minute track with rounded ends.
Cartier restructures the offer with the new Tank Américaine collection for 2023 and, instead of four case sizes, reduces the offer to three (M-Mini, SM-Small MM-Medium and LM for Large Medium). The size that interests us is the LM, which now measures 44.4mm x 24.2mm and has a thickness of 8.6mm compared to the former LM (45.1mm x 26.6mm x 9.8mm) and is the only one powered by a mechanical movement. Slightly more compact, leaner and less curved, the new Tank Américaine LM features the signature blue sapphire cabochon (rose gold) or blue spinel (steel) crown and rounded brancards. Like earlier editions, the lateral brancards are polished, while the top and bottom brancards reveal a sleek vertical satin brush.
Faithful to Tank Américaine codes, the dial flaunts the classic elongated Roman numerals, the rounded railroad minute track and the blued-steel sword-shaped hands, but the silver background now has a vertical satin finish.
Compared to earlier editions of the Tank Américaine – which will be replaced with the new collection – the reduced diameter of 24.2mm of the new LM size case means that the dial is more compressed, producing an even more elongated visual effect. This can be appreciated in details like the truncated numerals at XI, V and VII and the overall reduction of space at either end of the dial. Another change is the elimination of the central seconds hand.
Designed to fit inside the slimmer case of the LM Tank Américaine, calibre 1899 MC is Cartier’s new automatic movement with a frequency of 28,800vph and a power reserve of 40 hours.
Availabilty & Price
The stainless steel model comes with a dark blue alligator leather strap and the pink gold version with a grey alligator leather strap, both with interchangeable folding clasps. Available in September 2023, the stainless steel model retails for EUR 5,600, and the pink gold for EUR 15,100. More information at Cartier.com.
For three times the price for the gold model you’d think they could also throw in a custom dial…
What is the design configuration of the movement? Is it shaped to fit the rectangular case or is it a round movement? For the price it should fit like the JLC movements fit the reverso, whether manual or automatic. After all, both are owned by the same conglomerate, and are priced accordingly.