|Year of production (circa)||
18k Yellow gold
Cartier Tank Americaine Ref. 811905
Let us introduce you to one of the best Cartier designs of all time. This Cartier is called the Tank Americaine. The Tank model was launched more than 100 years ago and many cool designs have been added to the collection over time.This specific watch is from 90s, and what a beauty. Normally if you’d ask us ‘how do you like your Cartier?’, we’d say very classic, like the tank Louis. However, this Americaine has a sunken seconds register. This really does something special for the design and the dimensions.
The rectangular watch case and the dial of the Tank Americaine are curved, to improve the way it fits the wrist. When you add a perfect flat circle to this, sunken in the dial displaying the seconds, this really gives the watch another dimension. Beautiful!
This Cartier has an off-white dial with Roman numerals. The 18k yellow gold watch case is in good condition and the crown, of course, has the blue sapphire to finish the Cartier look. An original plated folding clasp completes the package.
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The Cartier Tank was designed by Louis Cartier in 1917. Its design was inspired by the brand new, awe-inspiring Renault FT-17 tank, used in WWI. We may consider the Tank to be a classical shape today, but back in 1917, it was a design revolution, much like the Renault that inspired it. The very first public example was given to General John Pershing in 1918.
The iconic design looks simple and elegant, but is deceptively complex at the same time. The nearly square case is flanked by two brancards, giving the watch its slender, rectangular appearance. A form that is clearly taken from the Renault tank with its tracks. A white dial, black Roman numerals, heat-blued hands, rail-road track and sapphire cabochon crown complete the typical Tank design.
Countless variations on the theme exist though. 1921 Saw the introduction of the elongated Cintrée models. In the 1970’s, in response to the Quartz crisis, Cartier launched the Must de Cartier line. These Tanks were powered by more affordable quartz or mechanical ETA calibers and the cases were plated silver, rather than 18k gold. The Tank Americaine was launched in the late 1980’s. The elongated and curved shape was reminiscent of the Cintrée, but a little less delicate in form. The more angular, modern Tank Francaise was added to the collection in 1995. More niche variants such as the Tank Chinoise and the odd “digital” Tank a Guichet are available for those with a taste for something different.
The Cartier Tank has always been a celebrity favorite. Iconic figures such as Andy Warhol, Muhammad Ali and Jackie Kennedy wore Tanks. Jackie Kennedy’s specific watch was later acquired by Kim Kardashian for a whopping $395.000,- at auction. Today, you might spot a Tank Francaise on the Dutch Queen Maxima’s wrist.
The Cartier Tank is surely one of the most iconic watch designs out there. You can easily put it side-by-side with the Rolex Submariner and AP Royal Oak as one of those genre-defining designs. It is tempting to throw the term iconic around in the watch world, but it is justified here beyond a shadow of a doubt.
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