Born in 1989, the Cartier Tank Americaine introduced subtle elegance to newly developing tastes. A preference for bigger watches was introduced and it has remained a success ever since. We currently have some stunning examples in store now! A little while ago we had this Cartier ‘Chronoflex’ Tank Americaine White Gold Diamond Bezel. This model got a lot of attention due the mix of diamonds and beautiful blue strap.
Cartier was founded in Paris by Louis-Francois Cartier, son of a powder horn maker. The man behind much of the companies earliest successes, had already made a name for himself as a jeweller in the late 1800s. Cartier's early jewellery was characterised by a light, airy touch, in contrast to the overly formal and overwrought ornaments of the period.
Cartier really established itself as a significant watchmaker in 1904, when Louis Cartier was approached by Brazilian, famed aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Dumont complained about the unreliability of pocket watches during flight. He needed quicker access to his watch, and Cartier rose to the challenge. The “Santos” wristwatch was not only popular with Dumont himself but also Cartier’s numerous clients. In 1907 when Cartier signed a contract with Edmond Jaeger, who agreed to exclusively supply the movements for Cartier watches. By this time, Cartier had branches in London, New York and was quickly becoming one of the biggest watch companies in the world.
After the 1911 launch of the Santos-Dumont wristwatch, the next big step in Cartier’s history took place in 1917. Whilst there was the introduction of Baignoire and Tortue Cartier watch models in 1912, 1917 was the year that the world first saw the Cartier Tank. Louis Cartier designed the Tank during the First World War after being inspired by the Renault tank. It is both a square and a rectangle at once, and was incredibly unique at this time. In 1921 the Tank Cintrée had a longer and curved case. Unlike the other Cartier Tanks, at the end of the 1920s it received Arabic numerals on its dial. In 1989 the Tank Americaine was also introduced with this long and curved case, bringing back the stunning shape of the Tank Cintrée. However unlike the design of the 1920s, they were able to introduce a waterproof case.
Cartier has a highly diverse wristwatch line and has some extremely recognisable designs. We currently have a rare mid-size Cartier American tank in 18ct yellow gold with Cartier set diamond case and winding crown. It's in immaculate condition and won't be in the shop for long! Have a look at all our Cartier Tank watches on our website, or pop by and see us in The Burlington Arcade, London.