Born in 1917, the Cartier Tank watch is the culmination of a lengthy design process coupled with a powerful vision. It is a timepiece that swept aside tradition, shook up habits, and ushered modern design into the workshop, making it destined to become a watchmaking icon.
As a collector, Louis Cartier developed his own jewellery aesthetics, which were characterised by geometric lines and abstract forms. From 1904 onwards, Cartier had pioneered the avant-garde or modern style known as Art-Deco. At the same time, Cartier watchmaking was enjoying a booming trade, and he introduced a wristwatch in 1904.
The Tank watch was designed in 1917 and took its place as a reference model in watchmaking. The strength of the design lay in its dramatic break with the elaborate curves fashionable at the time and the exercise of restraint in its form. The Tank’s signature design has Roman numerals, chemin de fer, brancard, and awinding crown.
The Tank is a universal watch. Its shape is neither square nor rectangular. By turns masculine and feminine, the Tank asserts that freedom and elegance have no gender. Loved by men and women of all generations, it is the ultimate eternally contemporary watch, made beautiful by its judicious proportions. Cartier has several variations of the watch, namely the Tank Louis Cartier, the Tank Française, the Tank Américaine, and Tank Cintrée.
This story appears in the December 2018 issue of Indonesia Tatler. For the full story, grab the copy at your nearest newsstand, or subscribe here.