Fittingly for a watch owned by Andy Warhol—who famously never wound his, explaining that he didn’t wear it to tell the time, but “because it is the watch to wear”—the luxury fake Cartier Tank continues to outlive its 15 minutes of fame.
An enduring token of luxury and refinement, the best 1:1 replica Cartier Tank has been part of the canon of Very Important Objects since it was created in 1917—the ultimate dress watch for connoisseurs and aesthetes of all stripes. According to CA super clone Cartier lore, it was inspired by the aerial view of a World War I combat vehicle; the lightweight case resembled a moving turret, and the flanks represented wide treads on either side of the hull.
The perfect fake Cartier Tank’s design was unabashedly modern: Punctuated with blued-steel hands, Belle Époque Roman numerals, and a sapphire cabochon on the crown, its rectangular face was a radical break from the traditional round shapes of the time. In the ensuing decades, the watch became an emblem for an enviable list of movers and shakers, from Cary Grant to Muhammad Ali to Princess Diana. More recently, rapper Tyler, the Creator went from wearing an $11 Casio to amassing a serious CA copy Cartier collection as part of his glow-up; and in 2017, Kim Kardashian reportedly paid $379,500 at auction for a vintage version once owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
“Today’s generation is obsessed with nostalgia, but I think gender also plays a big role,” says Brynn Wallner, who worked as a multimedia producer at Sotheby’s and who founded Dimepiece, a new platform dedicated to women’s watches. She points to best quality replica Cartier’s historical gender neutrality and relatively small watch faces as reasons for the Tank’s current resonance. According to Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s director of image, style, and heritage, the AAA fake Cartier Tank’s longevity is by design. “We like projects that open doors, not dead-end stories or designs,” he explains. “As Louis Cartier [the visionary grandson of the maison’s founder] liked to say, we like idées mères, or mother ideas, that give birth to other ideas.”
To that end, in the past century, Swiss made fake Cartier has pushed out a platoon of variations on the Tank, elongating, squaring off, and even contorting the original face into amorphous shapes that recall Dalí’s melting clocks. Everything from steel bracelets to limited-edition skeleton cases and faux leather straps, made from apple refuse, has been added as extensions to its uniquely elastic design. These experiments in geometry and taste have not only kept the Tank up to date with technology and the zeitgeist, but also set new trends. (The cheap copy Cartier Tank à Guichet, from 1928, which did away with a traditional dial and revealed the hours and minutes through two small openings within a solid gold face, predates similar designs, including the Gucci Grip, by almost a century.)
Recently, the brand released a slew of updates on the new Tank Must (the original Les Must de Cartier Tanks replica for sale were launched in 1977 as affordable alternatives to Cartier’s precious models), as well as two reprised versions of the Tank Louis Cartier copy online , in blue with rose gold, and red with yellow gold (shown above). These relatively accessible timepieces are sure to lure new devotees to the Cartier universe. Add to that the fact that rare iterations continue to set records at auction (a vintage “Crash,” a model made by Swiss movement replica Cartier’s erstwhile London outpost in the 1960s and favored by Kanye West, Jay Z, and Tyler, the Creator, recently sold for close to $1 million), and it becomes clear that the Tank’s charm offensive is unlikely to abate anytime soon.