Pressed for time to write today, I will simply share French Vogue’s wonderful review of Franco Cologni’s new book, which explores the 95-year history and progression of Cartier’s iconic Tank watch. I am a huge fan of this always stylish watch, proudly wearing my hardy steel Française Tank daily.
From its creation by Louis Cartier in 1917 through its multiple rereleases, writer Franco Cologni recounts the 95-year history of the Cartier Tank watch in a beautiful new book published by Flammarion. Anne-Sophie Mallard, Translated by Quinn Connors.
Cartier first tried its hand at watch-making back in 1904, with the square-shaped Santos-Dumont bracelet watch, but it was in 1917 that Louis Cartier spearheaded contemporary watch-making, with the Tank.
Writer and historian Franco Cologni dives into the evolution of the Tank over the years, starting right back at the beginning of fascinating history with the first-ever model and continuing through the many updates since, bringing it all to life in Cartier: The Tank Watch, published by Flammarion.
With a prolific past complete with numerous versions, including the Tank Chinoise, Tank Crash, and Tank Anglaise, the watch has decorated the most elegant Hollywood stars’ wrists over the years like Gary Cooper, Catherine Deneuve, and actor Rudolf Valentino. In 1926, they wore the piece in every scene of his film, The Son of the Sheik.
Retracing the 95 years of the iconic watch with many archive photographs and drawings, this book is the must-have gift to slip under the Christmas tree.
Tank Cintrée wristwatch Cartier London, 1929. Arched watchcase in satin-finished gold and runners in polished satin-finished gold. Beaded crown with a sapphire cabochon.
Leather strap with a yellow and rose gold folding clasp. Arched white dial with luminescent Arabic numerals and an interior railway-style minute track. Luminescent skeleton-style hands. Engraving on the back of the case: Felix from Fred ’29. The Tank watch was purchased by Fred Astaire in 1929 and has been part of the Cartier Collection since 1988.
Tank Louis Cartier wristwatch, 1944. Watchcase in polished, satin-finished gold and runners in polished gold. Beaded crown with a sapphire cabochon. Leather band with a pin buckle. White rectangular dial with Roman numerals and an interior railway-style minute track. Blue steel baton-style hands. Credit: E. Sauvage © Cartier.
Tank Louis Cartier wristwatch, 1925. Watchcase in polished, satin-finished platinum. Beaded crown with a sapphire cabochon. Folding clasp in white gold. White dial with Roman numerals. Blue steel Breguet hands. Credit: N. Welsh, Collection Cartier © Cartier.