How to Spot A Fake Cartier Tank Watches

ARTICLE DATE 06/17/2024

Spotting Fake Cartier Tank Watches

How to Spot A Fake Cartier Tank Watches

Cartier Tank Francaise 20mm W51008Q3 W528278 _p

In the realm of luxury watches, Cartier stands out as one of the most prestigious and renowned brands globally. With their distinctive design characteristics that make them highly coveted, Cartier watches are often subject to counterfeit attempts by unscrupulous individuals, known as counterfeiters, looking to dupe unsuspecting buyers. To help you distinguish whether a Cartier Tank watch is real or fake, it's crucial to know what to look for in terms of specific details, features, and the correct model number.

Identifying Fake Cartier Watches

When trying to spot a fake Cartier watch, there are several key indicators to consider. One of the first things to check is the serial number engraved on the watch. Genuine Cartier watches have a unique serial number that matches with that specific model. Counterfeit models may display a different format or lack a serial number altogether, indicating that the watch, perhaps a sought-after Tank, is not a real Cartier.

Another important aspect to examine is the engravings on the watch. Authentic Cartier timepieces feature precise and clear engravings that are of high quality, distinguishing them from the work of a counterfeiter. Counterfeit watches often have poorly executed engravings with inconsistencies or errors, which can be a telltale sign of a fake.

Inspecting the Cartier logo, particularly in models like the Tank, is also crucial in determining the authenticity of the watch. The Cartier logo should be meticulously crafted and positioned correctly on the watch. Counterfeit versions may have a poorly done logo that deviates from the brand's standard, indicating that the watch is not a genuine Cartier product.

Cartier Tank Francaise 28mm w00005r2 W526986

Cartier Tank Francaise w50005r2 18k Silver dial 28mm Quartz watch

Physical Attributes of Authentic Cartier Watches

One of the physical attributes that set authentic Cartier watches apart,  is the meticulous attention to detail, especially when it comes to the screw details. Genuine Cartier timepieces feature high-quality head screws that are impeccably finished and aligned showcasing the craftsmanship expected from a top watchmaker.  On the other hand, fake Cartier watches may have visible flaws in the screw heads, indicating a lack of craftsmanship.

The dial of a genuine Cartier watch holds several telltale signs that separate it from fake replicas. One key identifier is the brand's name spelled out, often found at either the 7 o'clock or 10 o'clock position depending on the model. This text is meticulously applied and aligned, exhibiting Cartier's exacting standards. Additionally, authentic dials bear the words "Swiss Made" to denote the watch's country of origin and adherence to the strict criteria for Swiss-made timepieces. The typography, spacing, and placement of this marking are precise on legitimate Cartier dials. Counterfeiters frequently misrepresent or omit these details, making inspecting the dial text a valuable step in verifying a Cartier watch's authenticity

Authentic Cartier watches also exhibit specific characteristics that are unique to the brand. From the design of the dial to the presence of gemstones or diamonds, genuine Cartier timepieces exude luxury and sophistication. Counterfeit watches often lack the same level of refinement and may have discrepancies in the quality of materials used, unlike pre-owned authentic Cartier pieces which maintain their quality. Modern Cartier watches, however, adhere to rigorous standards ensuring their distinctiveness and durability.


Unused Cartier Tank

Cartier Tank "MC Skeleton" w5310026 in Palladium Skeleton 34mm Manual watch

Authentication Methods for Cartier Watches

Understanding the specific Cartier Tank model you are inspecting is essential when authenticating a watch. The iconic Tank line has distinct features and design elements that are unique to this particular collection. By familiarizing yourself with the characteristics of the Cartier Tank model you own or are inspecting, such as the Tank Française, Tank Américaine, or Tank Louis Cartier, you can better spot a fake Cartier watch. Each model variation has its own nuances in terms of case shape, dial design, and bracelet style, making it crucial to study the details of the specific model you are evaluating.

Checking the case back of a Cartier watch for hallmarks is another authentication method. Genuine Cartier watches have specific markings and inscriptions on the case back that denote the brand's authenticity. Counterfeit watches may lack these hallmarks or have incorrect markings, indicating that they are not genuine Cartier products.

Identifying the cabochon on the crown of a Cartier watch is a subtle yet important detail in authentication. Modern Cartier standards ensure that each piece, including the cabochon, adheres to the highest level of craftsmanship. The cabochon, typically made of precious materials like sapphire, is a hallmark feature of many Cartier watches. Counterfeit models may have a poorly crafted or incorrect cabochon, which can reveal the watch's counterfeit nature. Authentic models, however, will feature the correct cabochon size and material as designated by Modern Cartier standards.

Cartier Tank 23mm W528204 _p

Cartier Tank Vermeil 23mm Manual watch

Buying Tips for Genuine Cartier Watches

When purchasing a Cartier watch, it's crucial to buy from reputable sellers, like Gray & Sons, to ensure that you are getting a genuine product. Reputable sellers are more likely to carry authentic Cartier watches and provide the necessary documentation to verify the watch's authenticity.

Consider the scratch-proof glass feature of Cartier watches when making a purchase decision. Genuine Cartier watches often come with sapphire crystal glass that is highly durable and resistant to scratches. Fake Cartier watches may use inferior materials for the glass, which can be an indication of counterfeit products. Authentic Cartier watches are made with high-quality crystal.

Verifying the authenticity certificate of a Cartier watch is another essential step when buying a genuine product. Authentic Cartier watches come with certification that includes details about the watch's authenticity, production date, and unique serial number.  However, it's important to note that these documents can sometimes be counterfeited as well, so you should take steps to verify their authenticity. Check for any inconsistencies, errors, or irregularities in the paperwork, and consider having the documents examined by a professional or authorized Cartier dealer to ensure they are legitimate.


In the world of luxury watchmaking, authenticating a Cartier timepiece requires a keen eye for detail and knowledge of the brand's distinctive hallmarks. By carefully examining elements such as serial numbers, engravings, logos, physical attributes like screw heads and cabochons, and verifying documentation, you can safeguard yourself against counterfeit products and ensure you acquire a genuine Cartier watch that exemplifies the brand's commitment to excellence. Investing in an authentic Cartier watch not only means owning a prestigious and valuable accessory but also preserving the integrity and craftsmanship that have made the brand an icon in the watchmaking industry.

Gray & Sons has been a trusted source for buying, repairing, and selling pre-owned luxury watches and estate jewelry for over four decades. Our Sell Us Your Jewelry platform provides a seamless experience for those looking to sell their valuable timepieces and fine jewelry pieces. With a straightforward evaluation process, secure shipping, and fair pricing, Sell Us Your Jewelry ensures a rewarding transaction when you sell your Cartier Tank watch or other cherished accessories. Our expertise in authenticating prestigious brands like Cartier, along with a commitment to customer satisfaction, allows sellers to move forward confidently.