Last month, Cartier relaunched the Swiss made Cartier Tank Française replica watches with a few upgrades and a very slick (minus the questionable CGI) Guy Ritchie-directed commercial starring Hollywood actor Rami Malek and French movie legend/mythological beauty Catherine Deneuve.
And that just about sums up where the Française sits in the modern Cartier catalog. It’s a piece of relatively affordable, contemporary, unisex Cartier design that’s become part of the fashion and pop culture watch dialogue. It may not be a standout model when it comes to the historical Cartier canon, but the UK best fake Cartier Tank Française watches has its own kind of historical context – not to mention a personal context for yours truly.
I don’t own 1:1 replica Cartier Tank Française watches, nor have I ever toyed with the idea of owning one, but I do have a long standing relationship with this watch. It’s the first luxury timepiece I can remember being able to identify. If I cast my mind back to the early 2000s – a time when I was still mourning the Spice Girls’ breakup, but consoling myself with sticky pink lip gloss and butterfly embroidered jeans – I can picture a tiny version of myself running my fingers over the cold, smooth links of my mother’s stainless steel Française. I would sneak into her London bedroom and admire all of the treasures she kept on her dressing table; where the watch, inside a small blue Murano glass bowl, was both sequestered and begging to be touched.
That’s how I remember the Française most clearly. It was a watch people’s mothers wore. A grown-up ladies’ watch.
Then, later in the 2000s, came the influx of young girls and their milestone birthday presents. The AAA Cartier Tank Française copy watches featured heavily amongst a certain set of London girls I grew up with. A symbol of their entry into young womanhood; on their way to becoming adults by dint of owning the aforementioned grown-up “Ladies’ watch.”
Today, in 2023, I revel in the nostalgic images of the perfect replica Cartier Tank Française watches. Princess Diana in her yellow gold model. David and Victoria Beckham at the airport in the late ’90s wearing his and hers Tanks Française, matching Louis Vuitton luggage in tow. Kate Moss, arms flung around a very young and very slim Marc Jacobs; Kate’s Française so loose in the image, that you either can’t stand to look or wish you had the same kind of confidence when it came to wearing your own accessories. The Française often pops up if, like me, you spend an excessive amount of time scrolling through ’90s nostalgia pop culture accounts on Instagram.
Diana’s ownership of the luxury fake Cartier Tank Française watches, along with the photographs of her wearing it, have influenced the entire trajectory of this timepiece. In the ’80s and ’90s, Diana’s individual look held sway over what people wore on the streets of London – which then filtered out into the rest of the world. Today, those images of her have become broadly influential amongst a younger generation. There are countless Instagram accounts and hashtags dedicated to her on- and off-duty style, within which we can see her watch choices too. The founder of the Instagram account @ladydirevengelooks (and writer of The Lady Di Look Book) cleverly called Diana the “posthumous influencer,” and she’s not wrong. It has been 25 years since the princess’ passing and we still refer to the Tank Française as Lady Di’s watch.
Dimepiece founder Brynn Wallner (my podcast co-host and a New York City princess in her own right) has had a hugely influential role in bringing the top super clone Cartier Tank Française watches back into the limelight. Through her documentation of ’90s archival imagery on her Instagram account, suddenly the watch is cool again. “When you hear ‘Tank,’ you likely think of the classic leather-strapped version,” she told me, “but I prefer the metallic weight of the Française and the near-severity of its angular case and bracelet.” She went on: “The fact that these qualities are packaged in a female-forward design is essential and speaks to the androgynous style dominating the ’90s. This watch proves that you can be a woman wearing a women’s watch and still have a little edge.”
The Tank Française also follows the all-too-clever Cartier trick of extremely recognizable design which it continues to maintain despite the cosmetic upgrades. The Française ticks the entry-level box, and serves as a sort of horological version of a Love bracelet, because what you are really buying here is jewelry that tells the time. These are China Cartier replica watches that, once again, like the Love bracelet, are being made on a mass scale. Women (and men) can therefore afford to sport a little piece of Cartier, a little piece of very recognizable luxury which equates to a little piece of status.
Currently the watch is front and center with Meghan Markle wearing her own yellow gold 2023 fake Cartier Française watches, but despite the attention it has garnered, it’s unconfirmed whether the watch is actually Diana’s or a tribute. Given the omnipresence of the British royal family in the media these past couple of years, Meghan has even suffered scrutiny at the hands of the watch community as she stands at the forefront of the “to stack or not to stack” your watch debate – a contentious topic if the watch is indeed a precious family heirloom.
So when Cartier announced a relaunch, I wasn’t at all surprised. This is a watch that has been getting a lot of social media air time, and yet remains something of a late ’90s – early 2000s relic. Perhaps perfect timing for Cartier to ride on the coattails of nostalgia? Time for a scrub up, a new lick of paint and a push back into the wider conversation, beyond the pages of Instagram? But now maybe with the added agenda of appealing to all genders?
The new generation of Tank Française
In total there are seven new versions of the Française. All of the older styles have now officially been phased out. I sat down to examine both the smaller models (with and without diamonds) as well as the large model. And once I opened the box containing the Swiss made Cartier replica watches, I saw that everything looked largely the same – and yet I knew immediately that everything had changed.
The first and most obvious difference was the amount of brushed satin finishing on the bracelet and case, which stood in stark contrast to the polished surfaces of the original. Had the Française morphed into a Santos derivative? I remembered just how shiny the yellow gold usually looks; all light play and sparkle, perfect for my magpie tendencies. The change was unsettling at first, but the toned down gold did look good. I continued on with my investigation.
The fake Cartier watches shop had definitely increased in size, a factor I was okay with when it came to the small model (25.7 x 21.2 mm) but mildly upset by it when it came to the medium (32 x 27 mm) and well the large (36.7 x 30.5 mm) was pretty damn large. Turns out I wasn’t hallucinating and each case size has increased by around 2mm.
Then onto my more meticulous examination, with a loupe (yes I used a loupe because that’s just who I am now). There had been major updates to the dial and I had a feeling that this was where the real haters were gonna hate.
The gold models now feature a champagne dial, while their steel counterparts all feature silver. All of the small models have a sunray finish on the dial, while the medium and large steel models use a satin finish. The numerals are now also applied on the dial instead of printed. The smaller models looked busier and maybe less legible as a result but I quite liked the idea that numerals were sort of melting into the background on the steel model. It certainly made the watch seem more jewelry-like to me.
Although I have come across quite a bit of shady commentary about the new endlinks (including the Hodinkee comments section) – it’s now, one large brushed end link as opposed to the previous three links – the new case and bracelet integration provides a much more seamless and ergonomic design. On top of which, the external links on the bracelet are now interlocked, which gives it a weightier look. When I examine the side profile of the watch all of these details do seem to work rather nicely – after all, Cartier are the kings of shape.
The recessed crown with the traditional blue cabochon sapphire (set with a brilliant-cut diamond on the fancier models) seems like one of those details that irks at the outset and just becomes normal with time. I happen to quite like the more streamlined modern profile that comes with this new feature.
All of the models house a quartz movement, except the large size in stainless steel which features an automatic movement with date window: Caliber MC 1853. And while we could take a guess and make generalized assumptions that perhaps most people looking to buy this watch aren’t necessarily interested in it for its mechanical prowess, watch lovers like me are left a little disappointed. Sure, it would be costly to upgrade all of these replica Cartier watches store site to be mechanical. But it would be fun to see some teeny tiny mechanical movements. And if I go even deeper down the rabbit hole of the argument that smaller jewelry-like mass-produced watches with mechanical movements aren’t cost effective for a company like Cartier, ergo consumers should be understanding, then I can’t help but think of Lady Datejusts.
I’ll be honest, I spent a lot longer wearing the small yellow gold model with diamonds. Its poor stainless steel cousin never stood a serious chance at gracing my wrist for longer than 10 minutes. And after trying on both metals in all the sizes I suddenly understood what was at play: The changes had made this watch more unisex. The brushed satin, the larger case sizes, the more substantial bracelet.
“At the time of its original inception, the Française was primarily a dedicated ladies piece,” Hodinkee alum and Parchie founder Cara Barrett told me. “Unlike the Panthère, which was overtly feminine with its bricklay bracelet, the Tank Francaise was very modern for its time. It had a masculine edge, it was an edgy watch.”
Perhaps the new interpretation, with its more matte finish and largely more substantial specs lends to the future of Cartier’s mission to lay claim as the truly gender fluid brand? In the ’90s this watch would have been modern for being a more masculine “ladies watch.” In the year 2023, the definition of modern design in best quality Cartier fake watches has come a long way. Is this part of Cartier’s plan to push even harder for a unisex design language?
“These changes intrinsically do make the watch more unisex in appeal,” long time Cartier collector Roni Madvhani said, “which is in line with the underlying paradigm shift of men’s watches getting smaller and ladies’ watches getting bigger – and individual style and finish elements of the watch having a commonality to meet this shift.”
While I do think that the gendering of Cartier replica watches paypal isn’t always as easy as calling everything unisex (there is always nuance involved in nomenclature), I do think meeting in the middle and making watches that appeal to both sexes is thoroughly modern in approach.
“It’s never going to replace a woman wanting a GMT or Sub,” Leigh Zagoory, a VP and specialist in the watch department at Sotheby’s, told me. “But the more substantial quality on the newer models versus the older models means this is no longer just a ladies’ watch.”
I sat with my Française-infused thoughts for days after the watch’s relaunch. Perhaps it’s not quite as important to the history of the entire Cartier pantheon as it is to the history of women’s replica Cartier watches for sale. But the watch is so heavily steeped in pop culture history that it would be hard for me to ignore its impact on a younger category of consumers today.
We are existing in a time that is so heavily influenced by Instagram and nostalgia and with this very strong re-appreciation for ’90s paparazzi photographs. The kids are yearning for what came before, but Cartier, like any smart brand, are looking to what comes next; and if that means a genderless Tank Française, then I am here for it. Petition for the next round of small and medium models to include mechanical movements!