Celebrating 100 Years of Cartier Tank Watches

Cariter tank

We admittedly tend to focus our blogs on Rolex here at Armour Winston, however we do also have a great range of stunning Cartier timepieces in the shop. The Tank collection turns 100 this year, so we thought this is the perfect time to celebrate!

Cartier’s Tank watch collection was designed in 1917 to be unisex and gender neutral. The Cartier Tank has graced the wrists of numerous influential individuals during its first century, from Fred Astaire, Duke Ellington and Princess Diana. Cartier Tank watches come in various sizes and designs, and as they are not identified as men’s or women’s watches... there are so many to choose from! Cartier is one of the oldest jewellers in the world catering to royalty and movie stars around the world.

royals and stars wearing cartier Tank watches

The Cartier History

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.

Tank WSTA0029

Cartier Tank Solo Ref. WSTA0029

Cartier rose gold tank

Get your hands on a Cartier Tank

Cartier has a highly diverse wristwatch line and has some extremely recognisable designs. From vintage looking to the sparkliest Tank watches, we love them all! Like us, if you are a fan of the Tank,  we currently have some stunning examples available. You can save over £11,000 on this Cartier diamond and rose gold Tank Anglaise. It has a beautiful diamond set winding crown and it comes with a rose gold folding deploy clasp to complete what is a very luxurious package. Have a look at all our Cartier Tank watches on our website, or pop by and see us in The Burlington Arcade, London.