Cartier’s Tank watch was included in one of the watches that must be collected in this life. A watch series (not a brand) has been active in the market for the 100th anniversary and is a very rare record. At present, there is only another Cartier series has the qualification, that is the Cartier Santos collection. Therefore, Cartier is so low-key for the celebration of Tank this year, we are all a little disappointed. When Cartier was in the exhibition of new watches, I complained a little on Facebook and felt that the Tank was left out.
But looking back, although Tank is classic, in terms of current market trends, it is too refined, not the sporty handsome models that everyone is pursuing. So it didn’t take long for me to let go. Think about it, how many times has the trend evolved since the birth of Tank in the past 100 years? But Tank is always there. As if looking at the people who are blindly chasing the trend under the compassion. This kind of Tank will not care about the number of the 100th birthday, because he will be 200 years old, 300 years old (if humans are not dead).
So, why is the Tank watch so classic? This still has to start from the historical background of the early 20th century.
At the beginning of the 20th century, it was the era when “the pocket watch” was just about to enter the watch era. In 1904, Cartier designed a watch with a leather strap to secure the body to the wrist for the flight artist Santos. For the first time, people know that wearing the watch on the hand can make it easier for the technology to develop rapidly life. At that time, the challenge faced by each brand was how to design a fixed strap, which can be both structurally stable and aesthetically pleasing. Cartier’s Santos watch is the earliest watch with modern lugs structure, which sets the historical position that Santos can never be replaced.
The Tank watch, designed by Louis Cartier in 1917, lifted the line aesthetics of the watch design to the purest level, creating a minimalist design that was unparalleled in that era.
As for the design source of the Tank watch, the fans should be familiar with it, that is, from the tank car. At that time, Louis Cartier saw the heavyweight weapon “Renault Tank” of World War I, drawing inspiration from the flat design of the tank. The track on the two sides of the tank is a structure in which the lugs and the case are integrally formed. The vertically extending lines subtly hide the lugs, making them both functional and decorative, with the most balanced geometry, very streamline and extremely simple.
The appearance of the Tank watch is also regarded as the most representative industrial design work of Art Deco style. Although the term Art Deco was officially released as late as 1925, it was already accumulated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and Louis Cartier was one of the pioneers. Art Deco is considered to be an extension of Art Nouveau, abandoning the soft, curved lines of organic and sensuality, combined with the mechanical aesthetics that arise from industrial culture, expressed in mechanical, geometric, and purely decorative lines. The emphasized rail-shaped “minute track” scale on the tank faceplate, as well as the radial Roman numerals, became Cartier’s most famous design.
The special design of the Tank watch, as well as Cartier’s own brand-name aura, has historically had a large number of celebrity advocates. Needless to say, the French stars such as Catherine Deneuve and Alain Delon. In 1963, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy of the United States gave Mrs. Jackie a Cartier Tank watch, and the back of the watch was also engraved with “To Jackie, Love Jack”, becoming the most famous tank watch in history. French fashion master Saint Laurent also always wears his tank. Princess Diana of the United Kingdom is also a fan of Tank. There is also Pop Art Master Andy Warhol, who once said in an interview that the Tank watch he wore has never been winded up: “I wear a TANK watch, not to watch time, I just want to wear it..”
Although Cartier is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Tank series in a relatively low-key manner, it is still launching a new three-series series for the Tank watch, including the classic TANK Louis Cartier series, which has been fine-tuned and trimmed, with rough lines and the first large-scale steel. The version of the TANK Américaine series makes it easier to get started. And the TANK Franaise is with an elegant route on the line. In addition, the TANK Cintrée Watch, which was unveiled at the annual Advanced Complex Exhibition last month, is the most important high-end watchmaking work in this year’s tank series. Inspired by the TANK Cintrée of 1921, this watch is designed with a curved vertical alignment of the hand-wound movement with the large curvature of the case, echoing the appeal of Cartier’s fine watchmaking-“one watch, one movement”.