Designed by Louis Cartier in 1916, the legendary Tank watch is an icon of modern watchmaking. It embodies the perfect harmony between watchmaking excellence and classical geometric rigour. For more than a century, Cartier has reinterpreted the Tank while remaining faithful to the original concept created by Louis Cartier.
On the Tank watch, the strap attachments (horns) are seamlessly incorporated into the case by the twin parallel lines of the brancards. This harmonious meeting of case and horns marked a stylistic achievement unique in the genre of the newly emerged wristwatch, a breakthrough accomplished through several years of contemplative research and design work.
In his final cinematic appearance in The Son of the Sheik, Rudolf Valentino insisted the film’s director, George Fitzmaurice, allow him to wear his Tank watch in every scene.
This delightful anachronism can be seen today in stills from the film: the great seducer in traditional Middle Eastern attire with his favourite watch on his wrist.
It was the Tank’s on-screen debut.
American painter, Pop Art figurehead and legend of the New York scene, Andy Warhol was known for his talent for standing out.
He wore a Tank watch but never wound it: “I don’t really wear it to tell the time”, he admitted once during an interview.
Renowned French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac paid a political yet poetic tribute to the Tank watch in French weekly magazine Madame Figaro: “If all the tanks were made by Cartier, we would have time to live in peace!"