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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 over 100 years.
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. Beloved by movie stars, heads of state (and First Ladies), and even four-star generals, the Tank Louis Cartier is a necessity for those who want to add class, style and distinction to their horological arsenal.
This reference is an oversized model produced briefly in the 1970s, which features an automatic movement sourced from Jaeger-LeCoultre, with an upscaled case (sized at 28mm X 35mm) and a 'bubbled' case back to accommodate the winding rotor. Perfectly scaled for today's size preferences, these are rare pieces in constant demand amongst collectors.
This particular example is in clean condition throughout, showing just the right level of patina and wear, and an aged handset which has bronzed from its original blued steel finish. Fitted to a brown lizard strap with solid gold ardillon buckle and the ever-iconic blue sapphire cabochon winding crown, this is a lovely example of one of the most desirable Tank Louis Cartier models ever produced.
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 28mm x 35mm (excluding the crown). Automatic-winding movement by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Circa 1970s.
Overall Condition: The case is in very good condition overall showing normal wear consistent with age and use. Non luminous white dial is in excellent condition with printed Roman numerals and blued steel handset showing bronzing patination. Blue sapphire cabochon crown.
Includes brown lizard strap with 18k solid yellow gold ardillon pin 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