Pop art superstar and committed Cartier watch wearer Andy Warhol was quote as stating:”I do not wear a Tank watch to tell the time. In reality, I never wind it. I wear a Tank because it is the watch to wear”
A part of art in itself, the Tank was first created in 1919 with a streak of just six pieces. Designed to replicate the design of a First World War tank, the watch is at once both square and rectangular, and the ring is neatly incorporated into’brancards’ — rigid sidebars.
Warhol knew an icon after he saw one — with made a number of his own — and the artist’s Cartier of choice was a Tank Solo in 18k yellow gold, using a white dial and black roman figures. Fitted on a black alligator strap and with a gold cabachon crown, the layout is simple and classic — and sold at Sotheby’s in 1988 for nearly $5,000.
Through the Years, Cartier has generated many versions over the Tank, by the Anglaise to the Americaine.
The Tank Française – Mick Jagger
Since the frontman of one of the most crucial, and longest-running, rock bands ever, Mick Jagger can be forgiven for wanting a timeless timepiece.
Which is why, when he was searching for a brand new watch in the mid-90s, he opted for the Tank Française, a newly-released variant on Cartier’s icon. An upgrade on the legacy of the original, the Française is both smaller and squarer than the Solo version worn by Warhol.
The most iconic Cartier watches ever created, and who wears them
The dial, however, stays the same — white with black roman numerals to retain the instantly recognisable Cartier aesthetic. Quintessentially Cartier sword-shaped palms in metal blue serve a similar function, ensuring the watch loses neither readability nor style.
The Française is a statement by Cartier. Almost 100 years because the first watch in the scope, this was an affirmation that the French jewellers were skillful at reinvention, and may accommodate their timepieces for each new decade whilst staying true for their signature fashion.
Like Cartier, James Bond is reborn with each generation, remaining true to his personality but switching tone, aesthetics and purpose as the years roll on. So it’s fitting that some of the celebrities to take on the mantle of this super spy have sported Cartiers. At miniseries Noble House, Brosnan wore a Pasha de Cartier. But, in his pre-Bond function as former burglar Remington Steele, the actor wore a Cartier Panthère — the opinion of the 1980s.
The very iconic Cartier watches ever made, and who wears them
Using its three rows of gold links and brushed stainless steel case, the Panthère is as amazing as the big cat for which it is named and, despite becoming an icon of the 1980s, has stayed in demand long following yuppies and shoulder pads have fallen by the wayside.
The Santon-Dumont, first designed in 1904, was among the very first modern watches designed to be worn around the wrist, and was made by Louis Cartier himself to get his buddy, Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont.
Later years have observed other noteworthy figures embrace watches from the fast growing Santos-Dumont range, such as Pierce Brosnan’s fellow Bond actor Timothy Dalton, and Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise.
Cruise, who wears a Cartier Santos 100 Large watch, mentioned the timepiece’s distinctive apartment, discreet square design as reasons for his pick — as well as how well it suits his favorite Santos-Dumont sunglasses.
Swiss-made, the 100 Large has a 51mm x 41mm situation with just a slight curvature. A chocolate brown alligator strap with double-fastening clasp offers practicality, and the golden framing around the dial makes this not only among the most practical, but fashionable watches Cartier have made.