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Why We Love It
When you think of Cartier, their longstanding history in high 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 Tortue from the Collection Privée Cartier Paris, dates to the early 2000s and is simply stunning. The elegant 30mm x 34mm case is finished in platinum and features a silver guilloché dial with Roman numeral indices, a blued steel handset, and a sapphire exhibition caseback showcasing the manually wound movement inside. Rounding out the package is Cartier's ubiquitous blue sapphire cabochon winding crown.
This is watch positively oozes timeless luxury... And for that, as with nearly all Cartier, we love it.
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.
Platinum case is approximately 28mm X 34mm (excluding the crown). Manually-winding movement. Cartier Reference W1540351. Circa 2000s.
Overall Condition: The case is in great condition overall showing normal wear consistent with age and use. Non luminous silver guilloché Roman dial is in excellent condition with blued steel handset. Blue sapphire cabochon winding crown. Sapphire display caseback.
Includes signed blue alligator grain leather strap with signed 18k white 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