A Watch That’s Shape-Shifted Its Way Across a Century
When Cartier Started making wristwatches in 1904, the Parisian house adopted the exact same craft as fine jewelry design 57 years ago, with an eye toward bold, distinctive geometric designs. After starting completely square Santos face and elliptical Encasement, Louis cartier Sketched prototype for Tank clock, Reminiscent of the boxer Renault FT-17 that crawled the battlefields of Europe during World War I. When viewed from the wearer’s point of view, the rectangular shape of the watch – called the broad parallel sidebar Bran – Resembles a bird’s eye view of a tank similar to a caterpillar. Now with signature Camin de Fer Designed around the face circumference and individual Roman numerals, the rigid linear design of the tank was a radical departure from traditional round watches of the era.
By 1936, with art deco and flapper culture in full swing, the rectangle of the tank became intoxicated into a diamond. This style, known as the tank lossage or paraligram, was shifted 30 degrees to the right on the dial dial, with its two vertical shafts connected by two diagonals, with the digit 12 sitting in the upper right corner of the dial and the opposite corner. 6 in
This season, the Cartier tank has been re-shaped: the tank is an 18-carat yellow-gold case in asymmetric, with the house’s signature blue-steel sword-shaped hands, a sapphire and brown color. A curved crown with crocodile – leather strap with Ardilan buckle. (It is also available in rose gold, and platinum, with a ruby-set crown.) As usual, this off-kilter iteration questions the order of things with finesse – an assumption that is now just as fitting as fitting. Is as much as the tank was born.
Stylist: Marcy Liseth. Retouching: Anonymous retouch. Photo Assistant: Carl Letz Digital Technology: Russell Underwood