The well-known luxury French jeweler Cartier launched in 1917 one of the most iconic and successful watch designs of all time. This extraordinary timepiece is called the Tank and it is a real symbol for luxury, style and sophistication.
A quick look throughout its history will reveal that this is one of the most desired wristwatches on the planet, worn by famous personalities such as Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, Princess Diana, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy and Andy Warhol. And believe it or not, Cartier claims that this classic watch has been inspired by an actual tank. When it was first introduced on the market, it was among the first time keeping devices that weren’t just another pocket watch on a strap. The distinctive thing about the Cartier Tank was that it sported the geometry of Art Deco while creating a perfect union between the band and the dial of the watch.
The reason why the Cartier Tank had a more pronounced attention towards design is because back then most watches were pocket watches and as these devices stayed mostly inside your pocket, no one really cared about the way they looked. The main concern was to manufacture a decent running timepiece that has incredibly durable. Cartier was among the first designer that was preoccupied about constructing an elegant and stylish watch that one would be proud to wear on his wrist.
As opposed to the majority of watches that were created in the early twentieth century and which were inspired by aviation, the beautiful Tank was born out of the aesthetic principles of the armored vehicles. The designer, Louis Cartier, was inspired by these when he witnessed them during the First World War. As any other military tank you have probably seen only in movies or magazines, the look of the Cartier Tank is defined by a rectangular shaped case whereas the links of the metallic bracelet is similar to the caterpillar threads that accompany these battlefields machines.
The Cartier Tank is still one of the most iconic and sought after timepieces of all time. Over the years, Cartier has come up with endless aesthetic variations for this classic model, ranging from materials and complications to different sizes and adornments. Nowadays, a Tank fan can choose one of the following five models within the series: Americaine, Francaise, Anglaise, Louis Cartier and Solo.
Initially launched in 1917, the Tank Louis Cartier line is the main asset of the French watchmaking company. This understated, elegant and perfectly designed timepiece is the basis of the very iconic Tank collection. This ultra-thin watch comes with an automatic, manual or quartz movement and offers unique design touches such as the power reserve display and the calendar apertures. Considering this outstanding design and the functional excellence, there is no wonder that in numerous occasions Louis Cartier gave this model as a gift to his associates and friends.
I am sure that most people agree that the Tank Francaise is the most recognizable version of the Cartier Tank line. Why is that? Because it has the brilliant design particularity of featuring a square shaped dial inside a rectangular case, a Cartier trademark sword-shaped blue-steel hand and the above mentioned tank-track bracelet. The Tak Francaise comes in a large range of size, like small, medium and large size, and also with quartz, mechanical or automatic movement.
In 1989, Cartier launched the Tank Americaine which is a more reserved style created by the company’s New York jewelry shop in 1930s. This version is distinctive due to its rectangular, prolonged dial that was actually the first Cartier design to have a curved watchcase. The reason why this model is so appreciated within the watch world is that it is a more versatile and refined choice for everyday or formal wear due to its sophisticated material options, like pink, yellow and white gold.
The Tank Solo is the model that blends beautifully contemporary appeal with Cartier’s classic style. Plus, this series offers splendid variations both for women and men. Details like the silver opaline dial, the elegant alligator skin strap and the precise quartz movement has turned it into one of the most iconic Cartier watches around. Its compact design and classy touches are the key elements of its beauty.
Then, in 2012, Cartier has enriched its Tank collection by adding a new style- the Tank Anglaise. The first thing one notices about this model is that strap that is seamlessly integrated into the case and the outstanding winding mechanism found inside the elegant case. This super stylish timepiece has a very durable and sturdy feel. The unique-cut diamonds versions provide an extra level of sophistication and distinction.
No matter what Cartier Tank version is your favorite, every single one of them will complement your style and status with luxury, class and refinement. This iconic timepiece is one of the most famous designs ever created and it represents a great acquisition for any watch collector.