The Tank is an exquisite line of watches created by Louis Cartier in 1917. It was inspired by the new Renault tanks which Cartier saw in use on the Western Front, and the prototype watch was presented by Cartier to General John Pershing of the American Expeditionary Force. Its lines and proportions are similar to those of tanks found on First World War battlefields; it is both a square and a rectangle, and its straps are concealed under vertical sidepieces so as to be hidden from view.
The Tanks’ usual blue, sword-shaped hands with silvered opaline guilloché dials have been the attraction for Adelegan. The winding crowns on Tanks, like those of most Cartier watches, have sapphire cabochons on them some of the models of them are embellished with diamonds. “The metal bracelets on those models,” she tells me makes the Tank range a collector’s delight. “I have a piece named the Tank Française that is shaped with indentations which bring to mind the distinctive caterpillar tracks of real tanks. I love the Cartier brand because it defines who I am.”
With the Cartier Tank range, The Cartier brothers have wasted no time in setting out to conquer the world. The entire Cartier back catalogue is coloured by this quest to open up to the international stage. And they have succeeded in doing this as the Cartier has become a household name in Nigeria. Polo Limited has been pushing the brand in Nigeria in all its retail outlets across the country.
For those who love classic, exquisite watches, te story of the Cartier’s iconic Tank watch typifies the pattern: following in the footsteps of the Tank Américaine and Tank Française, the Tank Anglaise was a logical progression. The Tank Anglaise watch is pure, distilled Tank. Featuring a concentrated form and emboldened lines, the fortified design offers proportion to spare. Cartier pairs this generous, ample volume with characteristic Tank features such as the bracelet seamlessly incorporated into the case, Roman numerals, chemin-de-fer chapter ring, and blued-steel sword-shaped hands. The signature parallel brancards now house the winding crown, which is perfectly streamlined.
The watch marks a milestone in the pursuit of pared-down design. With a winding mechanism that blends seamlessly into the brancard, the Tank Anglaise seemingly follows to the letter the aesthetic demands of Louis Cartier in his quest for streamlined design. The form stands as an intelligible, coherent whole; yet when the watch is tilted to the side, the winding mechanism comes into view, treating the knowing eye to a glimpse of the wheel of a tank. The Tank Anglaise watch is available in three ladies’ and men’s sizes in three colours of gold. The large models are powered by the Manufacture 1904 MC movement, visible through the open back.