The Seductive Staying Power of the Cartier Tank
Indelible. Iconic. How to pin down what made the Cartier Tank such a timeless timepiece? We’re convinced it has something to do with what inspired it in the first place.
Namely, an actual Tank. The WWI French Renault FT-17 tank, to be exact. However industrial it may sound on the surface, the Renault FT-17 was a beacon of design innovation at the time that Louis Cartier first encountered it in 1917. He was so taken by it that it inspired an entirely new watch design, and he was so moved by it that he gifted its first rendition to General John Pershing, an acclaimed hero of the American Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front — the main “theatre” of World War One.
While industrial-military equipment may seem somehow disconnected from high-end fashion, design innovation isn’t. The Tank’s iconic rectangular shape and structured lines were quite a departure from other popular watches du jour, and inspiring in its homage to the first battle tank of its kind.
The Cartier Tank’s prestige has only heightened as the years (and decades) went on. Further proof that sincere sentiments are at the root of timeless fashion.