05 Jan 2012

The Cartier Tank Americaine 18kt White Gold Ladies Watch W2601956: Modest Elegance

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Front of Cartier Tank Americaine 18kt White Gold Ladies Watch W2601956

A cohesive design marks the Cartier Tank Americaine as elegant and smart

Written by: Joseph Winn

If you are looking for a designer watch on the more expensive side of the market, you may be suspecting that you will find a lot of sparkle and décor. The Cartier Tank Americaine 18kt White Gold Ladies Watch W2601956 does not match with a glittery idea of glamour. The truth is that high-end watches come in many different styles, and they feel no need to pack themselves with jewels and golden ordinates to show their style and sophistication.

Cartier’s Tank Americaine watch has a slim look, managing to be sharp and soft at the same time, with a rectangular white gold case that features rounded corners. The way the alligator strap begins at the top of the face of the watch, rather than at the top of the case, gives the timepiece a fluid form. Roman numerals flow around the dial, which also takes the shape of a rounded rectangle. Cartier themselves refer to the watch as a reminder of a style from the 1930s, and in that aged-yet-modern way, the watch gives off some class while not feeling plainly classic.

The watch features some nice materials, including a faceted sapphire in the crown, a silver grained dial and high quality quartz movement. The window is a scratch-resistant sapphire as you might expect with a watch at this price range and not the lesser grade synthetic sapphire that you sometimes find in higher tier watches. The leather of Cartier Tank Americaine may be an alligator skinned leather, but does not look as rough as alligator skin. In fact, the strap appears somewhat satiny next to the white gold of the case.


  • 18k White Gold case, buckle and crown
  • Cartier caliber 157 quartz movement
  • Styling a successful blend of soft and sharp
  • Sapphire crown
  • Nice leather strap


  • High end on the pricing scale
  • Squished Roman Numerals
  • Not a watch for those wanting sparkle and shine
Side view of Cartier Tank Americaine

The roman numerals get to be a bit awkward when smashed into the sides of the narrow frame

Some looking at watches in this price range may be looking for the diamonds, gems and yellow gold of a long-ago aristocrat, but some may just be looking for a little bit more shine. There are many other watches that offer their buyer diamonds to count and showoff to others. The Tank Americaine W2601956 has a different sort of audience in mind and for the most part it pulls off a very cohesive look. One odd mistake in design is how the slim shape of the watch causes the roman numerals on the dial to become squished in at the sides. At a first glance, it is hard to tell the different between seven o’clock and eight o’clock as they are both a bunched V and I. Regular numbering or a smaller text for the roman numerals might have been a better choice. Outside of this mishap, Cartier’s Tank Americaine is a styling success. The real question is if the high price fits you as a buyer

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