The History and Legacy of the Cartier Tank Square Watch

The Cartier Tank Square watch is more than just a timepiece; it's a symbol of timeless elegance and a testament to the innovative spirit of its creators. This iconic watch, with its distinctive square shape and clean lines, has a rich history that spans over a century and has left an indelible mark on the world of horology.

The Birth of the Cartier Tank Square Watch

The story of the Cartier Tank Square watch begins in the early 20th century. Louis Cartier, the man behind the brand, was a visionary who was always looking for ways to push the boundaries of design and technology. The inspiration for the Tank watch came from an unlikely source: the Renault tanks that were used during World War I.

Cartier was fascinated by the clean, geometric lines of these machines, and he wanted to create a watch that captured this aesthetic. The result was the Tank watch, which was first introduced in 1917. With its square case and bold Roman numerals, it was unlike anything else on the market at the time.

The Evolution of the Cartier Tank Square Watch

Early Models

The first models of the Cartier Tank were very limited in production. The watch was initially given as a gift to General John Pershing of the American Expeditionary Force. It wasn't until 1919 that the watch was made available to the public, and even then, only six pieces were produced that year.

Despite its limited availability, the Tank watch quickly gained popularity among the elite. Its unique design and the prestige of the Cartier brand made it a coveted accessory among high society.

Introduction of New Variations

Over the years, Cartier introduced several variations of the Tank watch, each with its own unique features. In 1921, the Tank Cintrée was introduced, featuring a curved case that followed the contours of the wrist. This was followed by the Tank Chinoise in 1922, inspired by Chinese architecture, and the Tank Louis in 1922, named after Louis Cartier himself.

Each new model was a testament to Cartier's commitment to innovation and design. Despite the changes, however, the essence of the Tank watch remained the same: a square case, Roman numerals, and a sapphire cabochon on the crown.

The Legacy of the Cartier Tank Square Watch

The Cartier Tank Square watch has left a lasting legacy in the world of horology. Its distinctive design has influenced countless other watches, and it has been worn by some of the most influential figures in history, including Jackie Kennedy, Princess Diana, and Andy Warhol.

Today, the Tank watch continues to be a symbol of elegance and sophistication. Whether it's the classic Tank Louis or the modern Tank Anglaise, each model carries with it the spirit of innovation and the timeless appeal that has made the Tank watch a classic.


The Cartier Tank Square watch is more than just a timepiece; it's a piece of history. From its humble beginnings in the trenches of World War I to its status as a symbol of elegance and sophistication, the Tank watch has stood the test of time.

As we look back on the history of the Cartier Tank Square watch, we can't help but admire the innovative spirit and the attention to detail that has made this watch a classic. It's a testament to the vision of Louis Cartier and the enduring appeal of the Cartier brand.

Inspired by the legacy of the Cartier Tank Square watch, Söner Watches invites you to embrace the unique and distinguished world of square timepieces. As the only brand dedicated exclusively to crafting analog square watches, we celebrate the individuality and style that set you apart. Embody the spirit of innovation and join a select group of connoisseurs who appreciate the art of standing out. Discover our watch collections and find the perfect Söner to accompany you on every occasion—defying the norm has never looked so good.