Top 3 Alternatives To The Cartier Tank

Article By: Logan Hannen

Sep 12, 2018

What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to dive into our top three alternatives to the Cartier Tank!

Some quick ground rules: with this list, we are not strictly looking at affordable alternatives, although two of the three will absolutely be, as we want to offer up one solution in the same price bracket (roughly) with some unique character of its own.

1: Seiko SUP880

Seiko SUP880
Source: Jomashop

Let’s talk about the fact that this really could be the be all, end all when it comes to suggestions for alternatives to the Tank. There are, of course, some key differences. For starters, the SUP880 is solar powered, rather than the either standard quartz or mechanical movements that power the Cartier Tank. In case diameter, the Seiko comes in at just shy of 29mm in diameter from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock, placing it smack in between the diameter of the Tank Solo XL at 31mm and the Tank Solo Large at 27. Both pieces do feature, however, the signature Cartier Cabochon on the crown which removes what little doubt that there otherwise might have been which watch the SUP880 was paying homage to. At a price point of $195 retail (and often found online for nearly a hundred dollars less), though, it is a value that is simply too good to pass up, making it, in my eyes, the definitive Cartier Tank alternative.

2: Baume & Mercier Hampton

Baume & Mercier Hampton
Source: ABlogtoWatch

Baume & Mercier was, I’ll admit, not a brand that I immediately considered when looking for a sort of mid range option for this list. However, it became abundantly clear after I accidentally stumbled onto this model that there was plenty here to offer. For starters, unlike the SUP880 and so many Tank alternatives in this price range, the Hampton comes with an automatic movement (likely the ETA 2895 seen in newer models). Aside from that, it features Arabic numerals which, depending on the model year change styles slightly from the more “Timex Easy Reader” style seen above, to some more standard, JLC Reverso style art-deco numerals on newer editions. Where the piece really stands out is in a profile shot, where the curved case and crystal can be viewed to the best effect. That’s the thing that helps the Hampton stand out above the other offerings in this price range ($2,650 retail, depending on the model), and the best way to demonstrate it is simply to show it off.

Baume & Mercier Hampton Profile Shot
Source: ABlogtoWatch

Ralph Lauren Stirrup Medium in Steel
Source: Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren has an unbridled obsession with the Tank watch, so it would make sense that when he began producing his own watches, that the Tank would likely be paid respect to in some way. Indeed, it was, in the form of the 867 Collection, a collection that took the most rigid and religious sense of what a Tank watch should be, reimagined the dial, and became a brand icon (in that order). Now, though, one of the newer model lines in the RL watch lineup is the Stirrup Collection, a line of pieces that take equal parts inspiration from the classic Cartier Tank as they do from Ralph Lauren’s long history with equestrian sport. With a case that is shaped like a stirrup you would find on the saddle of a horse, and a dial that seems fresh out of the Cartier catalogue, it features a pseudo bund strap and is powered by the RL514 caliber, an automatic movement with a 40 hour power reserve. Ralph Lauren’s movements have historically been sourced from other fellow Richemont brands such as Piaget and, you guessed it, Cartier. At $6,500, the Stirrup in Medium size (don’t ask for a measurement because with a case shaped like that, there’s no way you can properly gauge its fit from a raw number) is a worthy alternative to the Tank with a little bit of extra flare that, it seems, could very well be running one of Cartier’s own calibers.

Alright geeks, those are my picks for three killer Cartier Tank alternatives, and I’d love to hear yours in the Facebook comments so, as always, keep it classy, watchfam!