Cartier is a French luxury goods conglomerate company. The company designs, manufactures, distributes, sells jewelry and watches and has a long history of sales to royalty and celebrities. Louis-François Cartier founded Cartier in Paris in 1847 when he took over the workshop of his master. In 1874, Louis-François' son Alfred Cartier took over the company, but it was Alfred's sons Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the brand name worldwide. In 1904, the Brazilian pioneer aviator, Alberto Santos-Dumont complained to his friend Louis Cartier of the unreliability and impracticality of using pocket watches while flying. Cartier designed a flat wristwatch with a distinctive square bezel. This watch was liked by not only Santos-Dumont but also many other customers. Thus the "Santos" was born. This was Cartier's first men's wristwatch. In the early 1920s, Cartier formed a joint company with Edward Jaeger to produce movements solely for Cartier. Cartier watches can be found with movements from Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Movado and LeCoultre. It was also during this period that Cartier began adding its own reference numbers to the watches it sold, usually by stamping a four-digit code on the underside of a lug. Jacques took charge of the London operation and eventually moved to the current address at New Bond Street.
Louis Cartier created the Tank watch in 1917. A legend was born. The first prototype was presented as a gift to General Pershing some years before the watch was brought to market in 1919. The lugs blend seamlessly into the stark edges of flat vertical brancards, lending the watch its unique aesthetic. The clean, crisp lines have proved hugely popular with a free-spirited, elegant clientèle. The now-iconic Tank watch has inspired countless variations yet managed to preserve its distinctive identity. Worn by Louis Cartier himself, the “Tank Louis Cartier” watch sets the standard to be upheld by all Tank watches. In contrast to the assertive choice of rectangular form and proud lines, the tops of the lugs were rounded, embodying the contribution made by Louis Cartier to the modern style later known as Art Deco.
Tank Louis Cartier
Tank Louis Cartier watch, large model, quartz movement. Case in 18K yellow gold, beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon, silvered grained dial, sword-shaped hands in blued steel, mineral crystal, alligator-skin strap with ardillon buckle in 18K yellow gold, calendar aperture at 3 o'clock. Case dimensions: 33.7 mm x 25.5 mm, 6.35 mm thick. Water-resistant to 30 meters/100 feet.
Tank Louis Cartier watch, XL, Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding Calibre 430 MC. Case in 18K pink gold, beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon, silvered grained dial, sword-shaped hands in blued steel, mineral crystal, alligator-skin strap with ardillon buckle in 18K pink gold. Case dimensions: 40.40 mm x 34.92 mm, 5.1 mm thick. Water-resistant to 20 meters/60 feet.
Tank Louis Cartier watch, XL, Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding Calibre 9753 MC, case in 18K pink gold, beaded crown in 18K pink gold set with a sapphire cabochon, silvered flinqué dial with sunray effect, Roman numerals, sword-shaped hands in blued steel, mineral crystal, strap in semi-matt brown alligator skin with adjustable folding buckle in 18K pink gold, calendar aperture at 12 o'clock, power-reserve disc at 6 o'clock, sapphire case back. Case dimensions: 39.2 mm x 30 mm, 8.3 mm thick. Water-resistant to 3 bar (30 metres/100 feet).