How to Style a Cartier Tank Française

A new watch is more than an addition to your wardrobe. It’s a way to more clearly define your style, and an opportunity to make a statement.

Cartier Tank Francaise Image HEADER IMAGE

Image via Rachelle Baker

Cartier Tank Francaise Image HEADER IMAGE

A new watch is more than an addition to your wardrobe. It’s a way to more clearly define your style and an opportunity to make a statement. Of course, it helps if the watch has some personality, like Cartier’s iconic Tank Française. The esteemed luxury house debuted the Tank Française in the ’90s, offering an update to its beloved Tank watch by replacing the leather band with a metal bracelet. Celebrities and tastemakers clamored for the new watch, making it an unforgettable part of the look of the era.

Now Cartier has done it again, releasing an all-new version of the Tank Française that retains the original’s look, while boasting fresh details like a bracelet that aligns perfectly with the watch’s case, and updated ergonomics for enhanced comfort. To mark the release of the updated Tank Française, we’ve created a styling guide to help you decide which model and size to choose, and the best ways to incorporate the watch into your rotation. Read on to see how to make the Tank Française part of your signature style.

Make the ’90s Meet Today

How To Style The Cartier Tank Française

Retro styling is at the forefront of today’s hottest looks, so wearing a watch that originally debuted in the ‘90s is a great way to give a subtle nod to that decade. 

The large, steel model of the Tank Française is at home with relaxed silhouettes, casual looks, and rose-tinted sunglasses. The house has maintained the spirit of the original steel model debut in ‘97 for this latest version, updating the bracelet’s geometry and adding satin finishes, all of which feature prominently in the large, steel model’s slightly enlarged dimensions.

Let the Details Lead the Way

How To Style The Cartier Tank Française

Cartier’s jewelry expertise adds elegance to everything it produces. So while you may be able to see the clean line formed between the face and its bracelet, the hundreds of components that go into ensuring that the pure line is uninterrupted are hidden to let the elevated simplicity shine. The bracelet links are also redesigned to create more of a curve, ensuring a better fit regardless of the wrist. 

To put your watch’s elegance on display, try pairing the medium, yellow gold model with a textured, monochromatic outfit that draws attention inward. The updated geometry in the bracelet and face will provide a radiant, complementary layer against the ensemble.

Case in Point

How To Style The Cartier Tank Française

Contemporary watch trends are all about smaller sizes, which let the details speak for themselves. A tasteful timepiece like the Tank Française doesn’t need to rely on a big face to be the centerpiece of a fit, especially with 23 diamonds laid into the bezel and crown on the small, yellow gold model.

Wear this watch with tops that feature details at the cuffs which will naturally draw attention to your wrist. Think slit sleeves, lace details, or even coordinating the champagne and sunray finishes on the case with similarly-hued cufflinks in French cuffs.

Stack It Up

How To Style The Cartier Tank Française

One of the defining features of the Tank Française is that it is part jewelry, part timepiece. For some, it could be the only thing on your wrist, but let’s be honest: it’s more fun to stack things up a bit.

To accent the watch and create a look of your own, add a Love bracelet (with or without diamonds) in the same color as a small, steel model. If you’re an experienced stacker, try mixing metals and incorporating some white gold (which is having a moment).

Keep it Clean

Cartier Tank Francaise Image 5

You’ll want to keep your Tank Française in your wardrobe for decades to come. And due to its impeccable design and quality construction, that’s more than possible. But you have to look after it. Start by keeping it out of harm’s way: make sure the crown isn’t pulled out if you wear the watch near water, don’t wear it playing sports, and take it off before you go to sleep.

Cartier offers some support as well. At purchase, make sure to ask for a maintenance kit so that you can keep the bracelet looking pristine by regularly cleaning it yourself. If you store, maintain, and care for your Tank Française, while also getting the battery changed every eight years (unless you’ve purchased the large, steel model with Mechanical Movement and automatic winding), it’ll last long enough to become an heirloom to pass on some day. 

Regardless of which Tank Française you choose, the watch will change the way you think about getting dressed. To learn more, head to

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