Cartier – the French jeweller, renowned for its watches. But America? Tank?? Well, the French connection can be seen in France’s gift of Miss Liberty to the USA in 1886. This chic statue doesn’t stand for fashion and luxury – it is in fact the ultimate symbol of freedom. If you want to treat one of the dreamy dames of our escort service to something (extra) special in the run up to Christmas, the Tank would be the perfect choice… much like the Americans’ rather pragmatic merci to the French in 1917, their gift of this elegant timepiece’s somewhat bulkier namesake. These innovative vehicles made it clear that the days of France’s aggressors were numbered. Watchmaker Louis (Cartier, not Quatorze) promptly presented the Americans with a novel timepiece as a memento of their European visit: his Tank Américaine – much smaller than an armoured car, and much more elegant too. Vive la différence! 


Cartier’s symbol of thanks to the US troops was presented to General John J. Pershing (after whom the Cold War era ballistic military missile was named). Other US officers also received an edition of the now world-famous Tank – its perennial design in subtle irony with its timekeeping purpose. Give a special friend a little piece of eternity: a modern Tank that closely resembles the original. Incidentally, the British Allies were also charmed by the watch: the Américaine’s pioneering design drew its inspiration from the island nation’s now legendary Mark IV tank (1917) – elegant, streamlined, efficient, minimalist. This wristwatch is all about simplicity and style – it has only two hands, and no gimmickry to distract you as you go about your day. The Tank’s parallel vertical bars guarantee the seamless fastening of a strap. This novel design had a significant influence on the style of today’s wristwatches. Louis Cartier’s 1916 Tank design became a precursor to the modern timepiece. Sophisticated technology and visual clarity remained the hallmarks of the French watchmaker’s creations. Constantly being reborn, the Tank always proves itself to be an original, ahead of its time. 


The Américaine merged its classic Breguet design with Roman numerals, which were rarely seen in watches at that time. A seamless combination of future and retro style, as it has been for over 100 years: most of today’s Tank models echo the original design, including the 18-carat pink gold Américaine, which is sure to suit your bewitching belle. The alligator-skin strap adds another dash of distinction to this timepiece, making it a stylish gift not only at Christmas, but whatever time of year you wish to surprise that special someone. The medium-sized model is perfect for a larger or taller lady, but can also be worn as a statement piece by those with more petite wrists. A beautiful watch remains a classic choice of gift: it symbolises how much your time is worth (even a smaller five-digit amount still has to be earned) and reminds us of the fleeting nature of time – how each hour spent apart makes the hours we do have together all the more valuable. 

Successful companies that span generations are naturally more enduring than individuals. This is how the French watch specialist has been able to continue developing its versatile timepieces for over 170 years. The Parisian jeweller stands out as one of the most successful daughter companies of Richemont, the leading Swiss luxury goods company. In 1847, Louis-François Cartier carried forward his master’s superb jewellery workshop. From this studio, the young gentleman inspired ladies with his exquisite treasures; within just a few years, he even had the honour of supplying the Empress of France. His successful company grew rapidly, and in around 1859 it also began to specialise in manufacturing watches in-house, thereby taking time-consciousness to the next level. After 1873, Cartier’s son, Louis-François-Alfred, accelerated production – time is money, after all. He started manufacturing small, intricate wristwatches in 1888. A decade later, Alfred’s offspring joined the company, designing pocket watches and pendulum clocks as well. In 1899, the burgeoning head office moved to a more fashionable address for more lucrative business. 

Louis’ (François-Alfred, that is) other sons conquered England in 1902: Jacques and Pierre opened the first Cartier branch in London. Shortly thereafter, the monarchs gave the fashionable watchmakers the coveted noblesse oblige, a royal warrant of appointment. In 1904, Cartier’s first pilot watch, the phenomenally successful Santos, was born – not a pendulum clock, as you might have guessed: this Santos was the first wristwatch in the world to feature a leather strap, making it more robust and less cold on the skin when worn in open cockpits. Cartier moved to mighty Russia in 1907, and in 1909, it made the leap to the commercial paradise of America. With innovative jewellery creations like the Panther ring and the Trinity ring, the French company’s success exploded. 

The Tank was designed in 1917, three years after the outbreak of the World War I. Louis lived to experience the liberating outcome of the First World War, but not the Second – he passed away three years before it ended. His brother Pierre followed him into eternity in 1965, at which time their company broke up into several parts. But as soon as 1974, these three fragments reunited to form Cartier Monde. Cartier became a part of the Richemont corporate family in 1997, harmoniously bringing together the finest in French horlogerie. Since then, the historic house has continued to develop and produce trend-setting watches: beguiling ladies’ watches, striking men’s watches and – Cronus beware! – even the occasional attractive unisex design. For instance, the Parisian company also offers its Américaine in 18 carat yellow gold with a distinctive patent closure – perfect for her and for him. In addition to its designs, Cartier remains loyal to materials, too, using gold and white gold in its pieces for men and for women. Meanwhile, even classics such as the Santos occasionally appear in a new guise, such as in gold and steel (1988). The Pasha shines in splendid white gold, while the diamonds encircling the Pasha Date conjure up ideas of eternity. 

In its steady journey towards the future, Cartier nevertheless honours its continuum of tradition. In its Calibre series, the celebrated jewellery house brings forth the elegant watches of tomorrow: Cartier takes a revolutionary step away from its quintessential, quadrilateral design in favour of round dials. Captivating creations such as the Clé and the Drive or the glittering pure metal Ballon Bleu also move with the times – but still surrounded by the anachronistic wreath of Roman numerals, of course. 


Each Tank is still an icon, like the Pasha or Santos. The design’s 100th anniversary in 2017 draws our attention to Cartier’s pioneering achievements in the wake of the roaring twenties: in the early years of the 20th century, Cartier’s concept of wristwatches gained its now global acceptance. Back then, producers simply attached simple wrist straps to established pocket watches. Cartier revolutionised the market with its integral design of strap and watch as an elegant functional unit: a slender leather strap not only keeps the watch in place, but also becomes a style statement for the wearer. 

For example, in 1926, superstar Rudolph Valentino wore his beloved Tank in every scene of his last film, The Son of the Sheik. This cinematic anachronism gave the Tank its première outing on the big screen. Other cinema greats like Gary Cooper and Clark Gable also kept the Tank in the public eye. They were followed by numerous celebrities from film, music and art, such as Duke Ellington, Yves Montand and Simone Signoret. As the ultimate icon of pop art, Andy Warhol dazzled New York with his unique style and vibrant works. For him, the Tank was all about statement, not function – he didn’t even wind it.  

Thanks to its enduring fame, a Tank remains a stable investment. Models from the 1920s correspond to mid-size cars. The shape of the enclosure has a decisive impact on the price, as is the case with the elongated Cintrée and its organic curvature. To make it all the more singular, the Cintrée’s display features Arabic numerals. By confidently offering such diversity, Cartier demonstrates its quality. For many years now, Cartier has cooperated with Jaeger-LeCoultre: Cartier’s clockwork mechanisms also feature concepts from the world-famous Swiss master of haute horlogerie. On the surface, however, both luxury suppliers continue their fierce competition to win the hearts of affluent watch enthusiasts all over the world. 


Our renowned escort service operates at Cartier level, offering you sophistication and class. And, just like the Tank’s enduring style, our youth remains timeless. We have a range of models, each of which will look stunning on your arm. Above all, however, our ladies offer character and personality: your charming companion will never be interchangeable or merely functional, but always alluring, charismatic – the epitome of class. Now all that’s left to do is to get in touch with us – so please give us a call. We will dedicate our time to getting to know you and your wishes – without any clock-watching (even if it were a Cartier).