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It started with four lines. Two long lines, vertical, connected by two shorter horizontal ones. In one simple sketch, Louis Cartier captured the treads of the tank that he saw on the front page of a French newspaper in 1917.
The result was the Cartier Tank, which would go on to become la Maison’s most iconic creation.
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 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.
While this would seem enough to bolster Cartier’s reputation, the Maison saw hardship in the 1960s and 1970s.
Pierre Cartier, brother of Louis, died in 1964, after running the company for over twenty years; several years later, in 1972, Cartier Paris was sold. For the first time in its history, the Maison was not in the hands of the family that had founded it. But the company saw new life under the expert direction of the new owners, Robert Hocq and Joseph Kanoui, who brought the Tank into the 20th century with the Must de Cartier.
With vermeil cases and quartz movements, the Must de Cartier was a trailblazer, renewing interest in the company’s products and taking it into new markets.
But the mechanical Tank lived on, stalwart and never sterile.
What we offer here is a Tank L.C. from the early 1970s, before the introduction of the Must de Cartier. Rather than the vermeil or gold plate that dominated the Tank later in the decade, the case of this one is pure 18k gold. The enamel dial bears the Cartier logo in script rather than the more commonly-seen block letters.
And inside beats a Calibre P838 movement made by Jaeger-LeCoultre, an ultra-thin calibre that would later go on to power JLC's Master Control line.
With its frank Art Deco appearance, the Cartier Tank L. C. is a necessity for those who want to add class, style and distinction to their horological arsenal.
18k yellow gold case is 23mm x 30.5mm. JLC Calibre P838 Manually-Wound Movement. Circa 1970s.
Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with signs of minor use and wear in keeping with age. Enamel dial is in very good condition with some signs of age, including patina. Cabochon crown.
Includes one 17mm black leather Cartier-signed strap with gold buckle.
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