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Why We Love It
If there was ever a contender that could challenge the mighty Rolex Submariner for the title of World's Most Iconic Wristwatch Design - the Cartier Tank Loius would be it!
This particular example dates to circa 1980 and is finished in 18k yellow gold with a classic white roman dial bearing a 'Paris' signature at 6:00. It is fitted with a blued steel handset, signed black leather strap and deployant clasp, and a sapphire cabochon crown for winding the mechanical movement housed inside.
This is a a properly usable Neo-Vintage Tank Louis, combining timeless elements of design with a manually-wound movement and a rare dial signature. If you've been considering adding a Cartier to your stable and looking for an example that checks all the boxes, your search is over!
The Cartier Story
Despite being a purveyor of haute joaillerie, Cartier has had a long tradition of making watches.
It started in 1907, when founder Louis Cartier made what was arguably the very first wristwatch for his friend Alberto Santos-Dumont. In the following years, the brand made a name for itself with its most famous wristwatch, the Tank, in all its multitudinous forms.
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 seen on the battlefields of World War I. 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 hundreds of 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.
From its debut, it would see many variations, each in keeping with Louis Cartier’s taste for clean lines and perfect symmetry. Each variant, from the original Tank, Tank Louis or the Cintrée with its flirtatious, curvaceous lines, had its passionate devotees. Rudolph Valentino, that sensual star of the silver screen, insisted on wearing his Tank onscreen in The Son of the Sheik, and Clark Gable, Andy Warhol, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis were among those who sported a Tank throughout the years.
18k Yellow gold case is approximately 24mm X 30mm (excluding the crown). Manually-winding movement. Circa 1980.
Overall Condition: The case is in fantastic condition overall showing light wear consistent with age and use. Non-luminous white 'Paris' dial is excellent condition with printed Roman indices and blued steel handset. Blue sapphire cabochon crown. Case back bears Paris signature.
Includes Must de Cartier signed black leather strap with signed 18k deployant clasp.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options