Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Vs. Cartier Tank: Which One Is Better?

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Vs. Cartier Tank: Which One Is Better?

Cartier Tank and JLC Reverso have become iconic timepieces throughout the decades. Very similar in design and aesthetic, they both carry stories that make them unique. Let's examine some of their main differences and similarities:


Cartier Tank: 

It was created in 1917 by Louis Cartier. Since he introduced the prototype to General John Pershing- Commander of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe- the story became intrinsically linked to the military sphere. Louis Cartier's inspiration for the watch was taken from a french tank, Renault FT-17, used during World War I. Louis aimed to evoke the Tank's simplicity, and that remained present till nowadays in the cleanness of the Cartier Tank. 

By the 1920's it already had a decent amount of popularity that only grew throughout time. Since then, the collection has grown with several series like Tank Francaise, Tank Anglaise, Tank Solo, Tank Americaine Tank Louis, and Tank MC. 

JLC Reverso: 

It was invented in 1930, and it's related to the sport's world. The British Army was based in India and enjoyed playing polo. However, if they didn't remove the watch, it would be destroyed since they were vulnerable to swinging males and hard polo balls. They came up with a reversible case. Many customers have seen the protective case as an excellent opportunity to add a unique touch, meaning that they could add any customization or personal dedication. Today, the collection has expanded beyond the polo and sports field. 


Cartier Tank: 

Unisex, timeless piece with a classic design. It has a dressier look than the JCL Reverso. It has an Edwardian styling that contrasts with the typical curvier jewelry designs of that time. The favorite of Jackie Kennedy, Fred Astaire, and Andy Warhol. It's more legible than the JLC Reverso, and the dials and numerals have higher contrast in dark conditions. 

JLC Reverso: 

The original Reverso had approximately 30 parts; however, the modern cases hold more than 50 parts, making it an incredibly complex case. It's an everyday watch that captures the Art Deco aesthetic. Reverso watches have an innovative reversible case- solid or open case backs- with two dials. The new models include the Duoface, which features a face on both sides and a dual time zone complication (the Tank line doesn't do complications).

Both are non-dress models that gained the dress status; they are very wearable and display a very similar rectangular shape, set of blued steel hands, a similar color scheme, and similar sizing options. Both have many strap colors and options regarding the bracelet options, but the Reverso doesn't come in a two-tone bracelet. 


Cartier Tank is a more affordable watch. It starts at about half of a Reverso price ($2500 vs. $5000). Generally speaking, Cartier's watches value in the resale market is lower than those from Jaeger-LeCoultre. The brand, Jaeger-LeCoultre, has more prestige as a horological and watchmaking company than Cartier. It's a less common watch compared to the Cartier Tank.


Cartier Tank Solo comes in both quartz and automatic models. JLC doesn't make quartz Reverso's for men.

Closing thoughts: 

 Both watches have become legends and will be significant assets if you add them to your collection. Cartier and JLC are well-respected and well-established brands. However, as we mentioned before, JLC might be a better option if you try to invest with your purchase since the brand specializes in "Haute Horlogerie"- high horology. This also might explain why JLC Reverso's price is twice the Tank. Simultaneously, if you choose this watch, it might point to a higher awareness of quality mechanical watchmaking. 

The Cartier Tank would make a great entry-level watch, and it's most of the time chosen by women. It's elegant and stylish, and you can't go wrong with that. If you don't mind quartz movements and like the old-style design, it's the right choice for you!

Deciding which watch to choose is also related to your passions. Let's say that you love polo or sports; maybe you find a more appealing JLC Reverso due to the emotional connection that it represents to you. 

You are always invited to come to our Brand New Gallery, APR57, located at 200 West 57th Street in New York City, to buy, sell, or appraise your watches. We have more than 100 years of combined experience in appraising all items of value. We buy, sell, trade, and appraise antiquities, bullion, jewelry, memorabilia, watches, and more. We offer special wholesale prices to dealers and investors across the globe!