What watch models does Cartier have

Cartier: Tank

What you should know about the Cartier tank

In 1917, Louis Cartier had a stroke of luck with the Tank. An exceptional timepiece that breaks with conventions. A dazzling personality who belongs to the good form in illustrious circles and still fascinates after 100 years. A luxury watch that is affordable. A mechanical tank is available today from 3,550 euros with the Tank Solo model.


The Cartier Tank and the Military

Amazingly, the creation of one of Cartier's greatest style icons is mentally linked to the First World War: As a thank you for restoring peace in Europe with his assault armored vehicles, the so-called tanks, General John Pershing received the hand-made prototype of a rectangular in 1917 Wrist watch as a gift from the famous Parisian jeweler Louis Cartier. The commander in chief of the American armed forces in France was probably not aware at the time that he was holding the first copy of a timepiece that, with its unique design concept, was to become a classic watch that has proven itself on the market to this day, while retaining its original appearance has hardly changed.

Despite the history of its creation, the clock rises tank Far beyond the military symbolism, it also stands for the dawn of a new age, not only for the House of Cartier, but also for a new chapter in watch history, which at that time was still dominated by pocket watches. Although Cartier with the Santos In 1904, he introduced a timepiece for the wrist - by the way, an integral part of the Cartier watch collection to this day - the Tank is once again making a contribution to the emancipation of the wristwatch and helping to make it socially acceptable.

The design of the Cartier tank

With the Tank, Louis Cartier expressed his preference for the simple and clear forms of the French “second neoclassicism”, a forerunner of Art Deco. He consequently combined functionalism with the typical avant-garde style of the house in a completely new form. Instead of simply cutting a small pocket watch case to the size of the wrist using wire loops, as was customary at the time, Louis Cartier had a completely new design approach. Together with the watchmaker Edmond Jaeger, he realized a new product recipe.

The ingredients: two girder-like “bars” imitating the circumferential tracks of the tanks (“tanks”), which trace the elongated sides of a rectangle, made it possible for the bracelet attachments to be integrated seamlessly into the case. A minimalist, elegant dial with simple blued steel hands and the characteristic, elongated Arabic numerals were used to display the time and a quality movement from Jaeger-LeCoultre set the pace. The sapphire cabochon on the crown represented a tasteful color accent and a luxurious accent that matches the DNA of the house. These characteristics were to become the trademark of the line from now on and can still be found in the current model generation to this day.

The models of the Cartier tank in the 20th century

From the beginning, the Tank made a name for itself as the most popular wristwatch in the Cartier range, and sales figures were promising. While only a few models were manufactured for the official launch in 1919, the new product line accounted for a quarter of the company's total wristwatch production as early as 1925, primarily men's models. But Cartier was soon addressing the fashion-conscious women of the twenties with extremely feminine designs, such as the Tank Cintrée (1921), whose domed case fit even better on the wrist, the Tank chinoise (1922), which picked up the trend towards Far Eastern motifs and ornaments at the time, or the Tank à guichets with digitally displayed time.

The declared circle of friends of the Tank included celebrities from all over the world, including the Pasha of Marrakech. He expresses the desire for a waterproof watch, the Cartier with the launch of the Tank Etanche 1931 followed. Tank also accompanied the following decades as a witness. Further milestones in the ancestral gallery of the style icon are the Tank savonnette with a protective hinged lid, the smaller version Petite Tank Rectangle and the one drawn more narrowly and elongated Tank allongée. Also the Tank Asymétrique in the parallelogram-shaped housing testifies to the versatility of the unisex model.

In almost every decade, the Tank set new accents without neglecting its original appearance. At the beginning of the 1970s, the third generation family company was taken over by Richemont and integrated into the Vendôme Group. Right from the start, the new owners knew how to successfully build on the Cartier myth and enhance it with modern marketing concepts. The new generation of "Les Must de Cartier" models included twelve great classics from Louis Cartier's sketchbooks in contemporary interpretations, including the Tank. Once again, thanks to its purity, it became a style icon of the jet set: artists like Andy Warhol and Elton John, but also politicians like Jacques Chirac or the fashion makers Yves Saint Laurent and Calvin Klein wore them.

1989 wrote the Tank Americaine The success story continues with its curved case shape inspired by the Cintrée. The generously dimensioned case now offered space for sophisticated movements with complications such as the chronograph or the moon phase. A particularly successful reinterpretation of the original appeared in 1996 in the form of the Tank Française.

In 2009 Cartier paid particular tribute to the emblematic model: for the first time, a Tank Américaine with the one presented in 2008 and ennobled with the Geneva stamp Manufactory movement 9452 MC fitted. Its flying minute tourbillon reveals the C-shaped tourbillon cage at six o'clock. Thanks to the open architecture of the dial, it can be viewed unobstructed.

The Cartier Tank celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017

It goes without saying that Cartier came up with particularly sophisticated models in the anniversary year 2017. Timepieces that bridge the gap between classic and modern in typical tank style. On the one hand, the Tank Cintrée Skeleton, whose clockwork, that In-house caliber 9917 MC, which gives the traditional craftsmanship of skeleton the most beautiful expression. But that's not all - the 9917 MC also adapts to the slight curve of the rose gold and platinum case. In order to present the horological and handcrafted finesse in full beauty, the two versions, each limited to 100 copies, dispense with the classic tank dial and instead focus on the wheels, which are distributed over several levels in the background.

The new additions to the Tank Louis Cartier put the original tank an expressive tribute. After all, it embodies the quintessence of the tank philosophy to this day, which is the clear display of the time on the wrist. The lines and proportions of the new models would also have made Louis Cartier proud. The Louis Cartier tank, made to the beat of the Hand-wound caliber 8971 MC is available in red and white gold with and without diamonds on the case in three sizes.

The new versions of the Tank Americaine in stainless steel, also available in small, large and medium. As a worthy successor to the Tank Cintrée with a curved housing, the rectangular shape is more compact, and the side bars and housing flanks also appear slightly rounded and more prominent. This rounding is taken up by the Roman numerals and the minute track, which stretch coquettishly here. While the small model is driven by a quartz movement, the medium and large models have an automatic movement.

Whether with a curved case, elongated numerals or skeleton caliber, in stainless steel, gold or platinum, every single anniversary model shows that masterful design does not lose its radiance even after 100 years.

Prominent porters of the tank

Its extraordinary design also makes the tank popular with artists and celebrities. She was already seen in 1926 in the film “The Sheikh's Son” by G. Fitzmaurice. The actor Rudolph Valentino wore the watch in all scenes. The famous American painter and legendary Pop Art artist Andy Warhol also wore the tank out of passion, but without ever teasing it. "I don't wear it so that it shows me the time ..." he once revealed in an interview. Lady Di was also seen with a tank on her wrist. At the 2019 Oscars, Rami Malek, who won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Freddy Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, wore a Cartier tank.

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The new Cartier Tank 2021

In 2021, Cartier is reinterpreting the tank and introducing it as Tank must which is based on its historical model, the Tank Louis Cartier. The model takes up the classic features of the tank, such as the winding crown with cabochon or the pin clasp on the version with a leather strap. The rounded side bars and the proportions of the dial have been revised.

The most innovative new variant of the tank is the Tank Must Solarbeat Photovoltaics, a solar watch in which the solar cells are located under the dial and are charged by the incidence of light through the perforated Roman indexes. The SolarBeat movement sits in a 33.7 by 25.5 millimeter stainless steel case, which remains nice and flat at 6.6 millimeters. The black bracelet underlines the modern character of the Tank Must Solarbeat photovoltaic. 40 percent of this consists of vegetable matter obtained from apple waste. In contrast to the production of a calfskin strap, less water and less energy are required for the one used.

Cartier: Louis Cartier tank in yellow gold

Another novelty is that Tank Louis Cartier, which is named after its creator and brings Art Deco to your wrist. Characteristic are the elongated Roman numerals, the rail decoration for the minute track, two sword hands and the pearl winding crown with blue sapphire cabochon. The rectangular minute track lies discreetly on the edge of the dial. The timepiece appears with a 25 by 33 millimeter case and gets its drive from the In-house caliber 1917MC with manual winding.The version with a yellow gold case plays with the color red on the dial and bracelet, the rose gold watch comes in blue.

For the 100th anniversary of the Tank Cintrée Cartier is launching a numbered special edition limited to 150 copies, which, however, was already sold out before the official launch. The model is characterized by its elongated shape and its curved housing. The anniversary model is made of yellow gold and measures 46.3 by 23 millimeters. It's ticking inside in-house hand-wound caliber 9780 MC with 33-hour power reserve.


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