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There are certain designs that just resonate throughout the years and remain evergreen despite changing trends and tastes. The Cartier Tank, in all its one hundred years of production, is one such design. Whether in gold (yellow, pink, or white), stainless steel, or vermeil; whether Française, Chinoise, Americaine, or Normale; the Tank by Cartier is one watch that truly deserves to be called "iconic."
Cartier introduced the Tank in 1917, with a run of six pieces--given, or so the legend goes, to American General Joseph Pershing and his staff. The design of the Tank was inspired by the Renault FT-17 tanks Cartier glimpsed on the battlefield of the Great War. Cartier took the look of the Renault tank's treads and applied it to the lugs, which were integrated via brancards into the case itself. That first run of six pieces increased to thirty-three by 1920, and by the end of the 20th century, that number stood well in the thousands. In sheer volume alone, the Tank--in all its various models--is Cartier's largest line of watches.
The Tank Louis was introduced in 1922, following close on the heels of the Asian-influenced Tank Chinoise. The Tank Chinoise, released amidst a mania for jewelry inspired by the Orient, has a square rather than rectangular case and lugs that resemble the portico of a Chinese pagoda. With the Tank Louis, Cartier went back to basics, with the classic lugs that resemble the treads that inspired them. Louis Cartier himself wore the watch that bore his name. That association with the man himself marks the Tank Louis as the quintessence of the Cartier Tanks.
With its frank Art Deco appearance, handsomely-aged rectangular dial, crisp Roman numerals, and blued steel sword hands, this Tank Louis is the benchmark for all Cartier Tank models. Ours is a rare example from the early 1990s, and shows only light signs of wear and the early stages of what is sure to become a stunning patina. Beloved by movie stars, heads of state (and First Ladies), and even four-star generals, the Tank Louis Carter is a necessity for those who want to add class, style and distinction to their horological arsenal.
18k gold case is approximately 23mm by 30mm (excluding the crown). Manual-Wind Cartier cal. 021 movement. 1990s.
Overall Condition: Case is in excellent condition over all, showing no signs of wear. Painted dial is in good condition with light crazing. Painted Roman numeral hour markers on dial and blued steel sword hands are in excellent condition with no loss of color. Cartier Cabochon crown. Case back bears gold hallmarks and serial.
Includes one black Italian crocodile strap with gold tone buckle.