Louis Cartier created the Maison’s first modern wristwatch in 1904 for aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who needed a more convenient method of telling the time than a cumbersome pocket watch when flying his airplane.
Thirteen years later Cartier unveiled the Tank wristwatch, a model focused on sleek design inspired by the treads and cockpit of a tank vehicle when viewed from above. The Tank soon became the go-to celebrity timepiece, donned by figures from Yves Saint Laurent to Jackie Kennedy as an elegant fashion statement. Indeed, the artist Andy Warhol never wound his own Tank watch and admitted in an interview, “I don’t really wear it to tell the time…”
Small and large sizes of the 2017 Tank Louis Cartier models in pink gold
To celebrate 100 years since the Tank’s 1917 debut, Cartier has released a number of new watches for 2017. Complete with some of its signature design features – including Roman numerals, a Chemin de fer double line frame on the dial and a winding sapphire crown – the watches are available in four brand new variations of existing models: the Tank Louis Cartier, Tank Française, Tank Américaine, and Tank Cintrée Skeleton.
Tank Française medium model in steel set with brilliant-cut diamonds
Each timepiece boasts a unique design in various sizes and combinations of coloured precious metals, steel, bracelet straps and diamonds. Their softened and curved edges lend the 2017 models a distinctly feminine edge whilst maintaining the overall Tank shape that is so instantly recognisable.
For his last silver screen appearance in The Son of the Sheikh (1926), Rudolph Valentino demanded of the director George Fitzmaurice that he be allowed to wear his Tank during filming
These latest models combine the Tank’s heritage with modern appeal – a continuation of one of the original unisex timepieces that remains loved by men and women alike today.