Cartier Tank Louis 78086Cartier Tank Louis 78086

Cartier Tank Louis Ref. 78086

There is a lot you can say about the iconic Cartier Tank. There is so much history to be described. There is so much you could tell about the design…

Among all the timepieces created during the 20th century, the Tank, designed by the master jeweler Louis Cartier, is one of the most enduring. Inspired by the design Renault tank FT-17 the watch was introduced to the public around 1920.

Early models were equipped with a hand wounded movement made by LeCoultre, produced in small numbers, about less than 6000 been said. But luckily other movements were available.

Our beautiful Tank is made of 18k yellow gold with an 18k original folding clasp. Size wise very comfortable wearing for men and women.  Just back from Cartier with a fresh service, so service papers from 2022, 24 months international warranty.

A never-ending story, this Tank Louis from the 1980s. Are you writing the next chapter? It will be shown at PAN Amsterdam from 20-27 November. Give us a visit and be surprised by our extremely fine curated collection of wristwatches, from 20-27 November.


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Brand Cartier
Diameter 23 x 29 mm
Model Tank Louis
Bracelet/strap: Leather
Reference 78086
Buckle/clasp Original gold folding clasp
Year of production (circa) 1973
Lug Width 17 mm
Material 18k Yellow gold
Set Content Cartier service papers 2022
Crystal Mineral
Warranty 2 year (AWCo)
Dial color White
Movement Hand-wound

The Cartier Tank was designed by Louis Cartier in 1917. Its design was inspired by the brand new, awe-inspiring Renault FT-17 tank, used in WWI. We may consider the Tank to be a classical shape today, but back in 1917, it was a design revolution, much like the Renault that inspired it. The very first public example was given to General John Pershing in 1918.

The iconic design looks simple and elegant, but is deceptively complex at the same time. The nearly square case is flanked by two brancards, giving the watch its slender, rectangular appearance. A form that is clearly taken from the Renault tank with its tracks. A white dial, black Roman numerals, heat-blued hands, rail-road track and sapphire cabochon crown complete the typical Tank design.

Countless variations on the theme exist though. 1921 Saw the introduction of the elongated Cintrée models. In the 1970’s, in response to the Quartz crisis, Cartier launched the Must de Cartier line. These Tanks were powered by more affordable quartz or mechanical ETA calibers and the cases were plated silver, rather than 18k gold. The Tank Americaine was launched in the late 1980’s. The elongated and curved shape was reminiscent of the Cintrée, but a little less delicate in form. The more angular, modern Tank Francaise was added to the collection in 1995. More niche variants such as the Tank Chinoise and the odd “digital” Tank a Guichet are available for those with a taste for something different.

The Cartier Tank has always been a celebrity favorite. Iconic figures such as Andy Warhol, Muhammad Ali and Jackie Kennedy wore Tanks. Jackie Kennedy’s specific watch was later acquired by Kim Kardashian for a whopping $395.000,- at auction. Today, you might spot a Tank Francaise on the Dutch Queen Maxima’s wrist.

The Cartier Tank is surely one of the most iconic watch designs out there. You can easily put it side-by-side with the Rolex Submariner and AP Royal Oak as one of those genre-defining designs. It is tempting to throw the term iconic around in the watch world, but it is justified here beyond a shadow of a doubt.


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Year of production (circa)



18k Yellow gold



Dial color





23 x 29 mm




Original gold folding clasp

Lug Width

17 mm

Set Content

Cartier service papers 2022