Seiko Tank - A Homage To The Cartier Tank
The story goes that Louis Cartier designed the original Cartier Tank back in 1917 after being inspired by the tread on a tank. The Renault FT-17 to be exact.
The first of these watches was then presented to John Pershing, an American General in 1918 at a victory celebration. The rest is history, or so they say.
This watch with it’s simple rectangular case and roman numerals has gone on to be “the watch” to wear by the likes of Princess Diana (which Megan might get), Fred Astaire and First Lady Obama (who’s watch Kim Kardashian bought).
So, it certainly has a heritage behind it that is something to be proud of, especially given the options available in the watch world today.
However, for most people, spending thousands of dollars on a watch is way too much money. Even if they look as good as the Cartiers do (you can see all the current Cartier Tank Solo Women’s in these images)
Which is where the Seiko Tank homages come in.They are very similar to the original, but a fraction of the price. Let’s take a look at some of the best options you can buy today.
Seiko Womens SUP250 (Tank)
If you compare the Seiko Tank here with the middle gold Cartier Tank above you will probably be hard-pressed to see a big difference.
Black leather strap with alligator pattern. Thick gold-plated H-shaped case, that is of course distinctive to the Tank. A square train of hour markers in Roman numerals with that unique patterned square on the inside. A Quartz movement.
Are there some differences? Sure.
The dial is a patterned white and there are jewels on the inside of the hour marker train. The watch case is also not as flush with the band as it is on the Cartier. The numerals are not as thickly painted either, nor is the shape or the minute/hour hands the same sword shape as the original.
However, you do get a solar-powered movement (also Quartz like the Cartier), which means it does not require you to always change the battery at all (or a very long time). Not so with the original.
Some areas Seiko have clearly saved money in (of course, if it costs hundreds instead of thousands) like the crystal is mineral not sapphire, and the case is gold-toned stainless steel not 18k gold.
However, if you are after the look, and a solid watch from a Japanese manufacturer who knows how to build quality watches, it’s hard to look past the Seiko Tank.
Seiko Mens SUP880 (Tank)
For men, the options are quite similar only a little larger to suit our typically larger wrists.
Again, all the hallmarks of the Tank style are there with the rectangular case, the leather band, the roman numerals and the crown with the jewelled tip.
The Seiko is in some ways more robust with the Solar (up to 12 month charge) Quartz and the Hardlex scratch resistant crystal. Sure, sapphire is better in terms of scratches, but it’s harder to shatter a mineral crystal.
All in all, this model for men is almost the perfect homage to the Cartier Tank. Very similar, but with enough differences to make it a Seiko you can trust.
Not everyone wants a black leather band and a white face, so Seiko has some other options in the SUP model rank. Here are a couple more men’s and women’s that you might want to check out.