Cartier Watches: Santos vs Tank - Which Should You Choose?

Which should you choose, "Santos" or "Tank"? Click here to watch the video ↓

In this article, we will discuss which of Cartier's two biggest watches, the Santos or the Tank, you should choose.

I would like to share my thoughts on this eternal theme.

By understanding the characteristics and appeal of these two square watches, you will be able to choose the model that best suits you, so please read to the end.

So let's get started right away.

Santos vs Tank

In this comparison, we will be comparing styles, namely the shape of the Santos and the shape of the tank, so please assume that the general classification is a comparison between square and rectangular types.

Let's first look at the objective data.

Please take a look at these two images.

Image showing search volume for "Cartier Tank"
Image showing search volume for "Cartier Santos"

This is a tool that allows you to find out how often a particular word is searched for, and it shows the average number of searches over the past year.

And that number is

"Cartier Tank" is 33100

"Cartier Santos" is 14,800

These numbers represent the monthly search volume, so in simple comparison, there are more than twice as many searches for tanks.

However, since there are probably a certain number of female users among these, we will discount the number by 30.

This works out to approximately 23,170 monthly searches.

Therefore, even a conservative estimate shows that there are more people in Japan who are interested in tanks.

Now let's take a look at the characteristics of each.

Santos Features

Cartier Santos Galbee wearing image

The Santos is characterized by its square shape, and at first glance it gives off an impression of being masculine, rugged, and sporty.

The Santos was the first men's wristwatch in history, and its biggest difference from previous wristwatches was that whereas previous watches were simply pocket watches with straps attached, the Santos had lugs for attaching the straps that were connected to the watch case.

This model was created in 1906 and is characterized by its screw decoration.

Until then, the main concept was pocket watches, so a company that primarily made watches would not have come up with the idea of ​​"lugs," but it was Cartier, a jewelry brand, that was able to notice this.

By the way, the Santos model was commissioned by the aviator of the time, Alberto Santos-Dumont.

If you are interested in the history of Santos, please watch this video:

The main material is stainless steel, and the appeal of stainless steel is that it does not get scratched easily.

The regular Santos is quite sturdy, but the Santos-Dumont is quite dressy, so even though they are both Santos, each has its own unique appeal.

Tank Features

Image of a man wearing a Cartier Must Tank

When you think of Cartier, the first thing that comes to mind is the Tank, and even people who don't know anything about watches can tell that it's a Cartier watch just from its shape.

France was under German rule, but it was thanks to the use of tanks, the most advanced armored vehicles of the time, that it was able to win its independence.

As a symbol of peace, Cartier named one of its rectangular models the Tank.

It was born in the late 1910s.

At the time, the Art Deco boom was in full swing, and designs based on curves and straight lines were popular.

Cartier was the first to incorporate this design into their designs, and the Tank style was completed.

Among them, the Tank Louis Cartier is classified as a luxury model, and the materials used are basically 18k yellow or white gold, but also platinum.

However, there are many different variations of tanks, and tank masts are only available in stainless steel.

Therefore, even though it is called a tank, its distinctive feature is that it is wide from top to bottom.

Its shape evokes images of elegance, dressiness, and formality.

Compared to the Santos, it lacks strength and gives off a more "mature manly" feel.

For more information on the Tank Louis Cartier, please see this video, which explains it in detail.

Review after actually wearing it

This time, I will be reviewing the Santos Galve and the Mast Tank.

Comparison of Cartier watches "Santos" and "Tank"

The left side is the "Mast Tank" and the right side is the "Santos Galve".

Both are great models, but I feel like the Tank goes really well with a jacket style.

A comparison photo of Cartier's Tank and Santos watches on the wrist

Cartier itself was originally founded as a jewelry brand, and because its watches are thin, they don't get in the way of your cuffs and subtly accentuate your wrist in a stylish way.

The Santos Galve fits comfortably on the arm and feels one with the wrist.

In terms of formality, the Tank wins, but the Santos basically goes with any outfit, so in terms of versatility, the Santos is probably the better choice.

Comparison of Cartier watches "Tank" and "Santos" worn from a distance

The Galbe is equipped with an automatic movement, so it is slightly thicker and heavier than the Tank.

In terms of lightness, the Tank wins, but the Santos gives off a solid feel due to its thickness and weight, so in terms of sportiness, the Santos wins.

How much is the price difference?

By now, you should have decided to some extent which model is best for you.

The problem then becomes the price, so let's take a look at the actual prices of the current line currently on sale.

When comparing vintage watches, prices vary greatly depending on the individual watch and the accessories it comes with, so here we will only explain the prices of new watches.

Tank Louis Cartier LM size price list

The current Tank Louis Cartier is priced at around 2 million yen.

There's no doubt that the figure of 2 million yen is an overwhelmingly high price, but there is an appeal to back it up.

If you think about it from a general financial perspective, I get the impression that if you really want it, you can get it if you just try a little.

That's why it's a brand.

Now let's take a look at Tank Mast, which is one rank lower.

Tank Mast Price List It comes in two patterns, a leather strap and a metal bracelet, and the LM size is equipped with a quartz movement and costs 500,000 to 600,000 yen.

The XL size costs 700,000 to 800,000 yen and is equipped with an automatic movement.

Compared to the Tank Louis, it is significantly cheaper and the material is different, but the shape of the tank is the same and looking at the price, it can be said that this is more realistic.

Now let's look at Santos.

Santos de Cartier price comparison

The current Santos has an extensive lineup, so I will only talk about the standard models here.

Santos also has a dress watch called the Santos-Dumont, which is about half the price of the Santos de Cartier, but since the Tank is considered to be the representative dress watch here, we have omitted it to avoid overlapping.

Looking at the current Santos de Cartier, the stainless steel model costs around 1.1 million yen, while the 18K model costs 2.5 to 2.9 million yen.

Looking at it this way, the starting price for the Santos is at least 1 million yen, so if you look at it from a general financial perspective, the Tank Mast would likely be an easy candidate.

Of course, this is only if you compare prices, but when you also look at the background, materials, and movement of the model, it is not possible to judge based on price alone.

Also, when it comes to price, looking at used items as well will give you a wider range of options to choose from, so if you're not particular about buying new, it might be a good idea to consider used items as well.


Finally, to sum up, when comparing Tank and Santos, it is impossible to decide which is better and which is worse.

Rather than that,

-Which shape do you prefer?

-What kind of fashion do you usually wear?

(Is it mostly casual or formal?)

・Do I like light watches? Or heavy watches?

By considering all of these factors together and making a judgment, you will be able to decide whether Tank or Santos is better.

I think that by learning about the history of each model and understanding their strengths and features, you will be able to make a better purchase.