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Among all the beautiful luxury watches Cartier makes for ladies, the Panthere and the Tank Francaise are some of the most popular. This isn’t surprising given that both of these watches feature clean lines, classic design touches, and timeless elegance that’s always in style regardless of fashion trends. But which one is right for you? If you’re trying to decide between these two models, join us as we delve into the similarities and differences of the Cartier Panthere vs. Tank Francaise watch

Cartier Panthere vs. Tank Francaise Watch
Cartier Panthere vs. Tank Francaise Watch

Brief History of the Cartier Panthere and the Tank Francaise

While the panther has been a signature motif of Maison Cartier since 1914, the Panthere watch as we know it today made its debut in 1983. With its sleek squarish case, supple link bracelet, and signature Cartier dial, the Panthere exuded all the glamor that characterized the eighties.

Cartier Panthere vs. Tank Francaise Watch
Cartier Panthere Watches

As such, it became the must-have luxury watch of the decade, frequently seen on wrists of celebrities, fashionistas, and the jet-set. Cartier discontinued the Panthere watch in the mid-2000s. But thankfully, the brand revived it a few years back for a whole new audience to enjoy.

The Cartier Tank watch collection is one of the oldest from the brand, first created in 1917. The success of the rectangular Cartier watch fashioned after a military tank silhouette spawned a slew of different iterations over the last century. There’s the Tank Cintree, the Tank Anglaise, the Tank Americaine, the Tank Solo, and so many others.

Cartier Panthere vs. Tank Francaise Watch
The Tank Francaise (right) compared to other Tank models

However, it was the launch of the Tank Francaise in 1996 that captured the attention of a much broader audience. With its chain-link metal bracelet and curved case, the Tank Francaise was sportier, more modern, and more youthful compared to previous Tank models. More than two decades on, the Tank Francaise continues to be a flagship ladies’ watch for Cartier.

Design Differences and Similarities

At first glance, the Cartier Panthere and the Tank Francaise share plenty of similarities. Both ladies’ watches have dials with Roman numerals and blue sword-shaped hands, along with a blue cabochon set into the winding crown. What’s more, both the Panthere and the Tank Francaise sport non-round cases and metal link bracelets.

Cartier Panthere vs. Tank Francaise Watch
Cartier Panthere vs. Tank Francaise Watch

However, upon closer inspection, it’s evident that the details of each Cartier watch model result in two distinct watch styles. The Panthere is dressier while the Tank Francaise is sportier.

Cartier Tank Francaise in Gold

The Panthere’s brick-like five-link bracelet is more ornate compared to the sleek three-link configuration of the Tank Francaise. Furthermore, the Panthere includes curvier lugs, a curved square bezel with exposed screws, and shoulders around the winding crown. On the other hand, the Tank Francaise case is more straightforward with thick borders on the left and right of the dial that jut out to serve as lugs to hold the bracelet in place. Plus the Tank Francaise has no crown guards.

Cartier Panthere in Gold with Diamonds

Although both the Panthere and the Tank Francaise are perfectly suitable as daily luxury watches, deciding between the two is reliant upon if you prefer a dressier timepiece or a more casual one for every day.

The Style Options

Both the Panthere and the Tank Francaise are available in stainless steel, 18k gold, or a two-tone mix of stainless steel and gold. Diamonds are of course options across both models too.

Two-Tone Steel and Gold Cartier Panthere Watch

Like most Cartier watch models, the Tank Francaise and the Panthere are offered in a range of case sizes to suit different wrists. The most common dial color available on both models is silver. However, there are some mother-of-pearl dial options within the Tank Francaise range and lacquer dial options within the Panthere lineup. Finally, the new Panthere watch collection includes a few different style options such as a double wrap bracelet or a wide bangle cuff too.

Two-Tone Cartier Tank Francaise Watch

Whichever way you decide, you can’t go wrong with a Panthere or a Tank Francaise as your forever watch. Both staples of the Cartier catalog, these classic beauties are cherished for their enduring appeal.

Written by

Celine Simon

Celine is a freelance luxury watch writer who has enjoyed working in the horology industry for over ten years. Like many of the high-end timepieces she writes about, she comes from Switzerland—the heart of fine watchmaking. From Singapore to Montreal to Geneva to Dubai, Celine has lived all over the world but now calls Southern California home.