Favorite Designs – The Cartier Tank

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Since this series is a toast to my first 50 years I thought it appropriate that we start with a timepiece.  I have been in love with the Cartier Tank watch since my mother first bought one in the 1970’s.  The sleek, clean line styling has remained a favorite for my entire life.  Little did I know at the time that this watch, originally released in 1919, was such an important design icon. 

HISTORY

"Technically, the Tank wasn’t the first documented wristwatch (that honor goes, in uncertain order, to the Swiss companies Patek Philippe and Girard-Perregaux). And it wasn’t even Cartier’s first wristwatch. That would be the Santos. Created in 1904 for Alberto Santos-Dumont, a wealthy flier and dandy, this watch was powerful, masculine, with screws spaced like rivets around the bezel. The Tank, however, was the first wristwatch to solve the problem that consumed Cartier: how to attach a face to a band with complete conceptual integrity. In fact, Cartier was alone in thinking that this was a problem." (excerpt from:  Ben Clymer is the Executive Editor of Hodinkee, a daily blog of the most interesting and unique watches in the world.)

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The inspiration of the watch band came from the Renault Tanks during WWI.

 

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Tanks (usually) have blue, sword-shaped hands with silvered opaline guilloché dials. The winding crowns on Tanks, like those of most Cartier watches, have sapphire cabochons on them.

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Many famous people have worn the Cartier tank:  Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Warren Beatty, Harry Truman, Jackie Kennedy, Michelle Obama….

My favorite was Jane Cousar. She was a leap year baby so she would remain 21 this year.  As she is now old enough to drink we raise a glass to Jane and her style!  I still love clean lines and white shirts due to her!

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Years ago when my mother passed away, she willed her Cartier Tank to a dear friend.  That Christmas my husband found it’s twin and gave it to me for Christmas.  Everytime I look at it I think of my Mom who had great style and my sweet husband.  (Okay – so this outfit doesn’t scream style – but I like the picture!)

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