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Why We Love It
When you think of Cartier, their longstanding history in Jewelry probably comes to mind. But, they also have a renowned reputation for making timeless and elegant timepieces for just over 100 years.
The Tank Louis is without question their most well-known model, but the story doesn't end there. Beyond their Tank line are numerous executions - many produced in very limited quantities - that are quite literally some of the most beautiful timepieces ever made.
This particular example, a Tonneau model, dates to circa 1990s and features a 27 x 46mm tonneau-shaped 18k yellow gold case with Cartier's ubiquitous cabochon winding crown, white Roman dial with Paris signature, and a manually-winding movement.
Appropriate for any wrist, this particular example is in superb condition with an exceptionally clean dial. Its slender stance on the wrist is as effortlessly comfortable as it is elegant.
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. Throughout the 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 glimpsed on the battlefield of WW1. 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.
18k Yellow Gold case is approximately 27mm x 46mm (excluding the crown). Manual-winding movement. Cartier Reference 107-90. Circa 1990s.
Overall Condition: The case is in fantastic condition overall showing light wear consistent with age and use. Non luminous Paris-signed white Roman dial is in superb condition with blued steel handset. Cabochon winding crown.
Includes Cartier signed navy blue alligator leather strap with signed 18k yellow gold 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