Thanks...here's some more to consider...June 7 2010 at 4:44 AM
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Response to Great snippet of history TG. (nt).
The Cartier Tank watch first graced Louis Cartiers Parisian salon more than 90 years ago in 1919. It wasnt long before the watch became the choice for many world-famous celebrities Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Harry Truman, Princess Diana, and most recently Michelle Obama.
According to a Vanity Fair article, the Tank wasnt called a Tank when Louis Cartier first created the watch. It didnt even have a name. When clients visited Cartiers salon, they simply picked up a rectangular watch. That watch would later be called the Tank. The Tank was simply the answer to a practical question: How will men who need both hands free tell time? It was, as well, the answer to an aesthetic question: How do you make a wristwatch that isnt just a small pocket watch on a strap? While the Tank wasnt Cartiers first wristwatch (the Santos was), the Tank was the first wristwatch to solve the problem that consumed Cartier: how to attach a face to a band with complete conceptual integrity. As a jeweler, Cartier wasnt concerned only with how a watch performs he was also concerned with its design.
While everyone was dabbling with Art Noveau, Cartier brought modernism and purity of design to the Tank watch, where less is more. Vanity Fair describes the Tank watch as unapologetically industrial and undecorated. The Tank is an evolution of its predecessor the Santos. With the Tank, Cartier did away with all the curves of the Santos and came up with a watch that is a perfect square. The band is the exact same width as the face, its points of attachment (the lugs) hidden, because all elements are held in suspension between the two parallel brancards, which have the linear reach of a rectangle, continuing well beyond 12 and 6.
Legend has it that the Tank was influenced by the war machine (the tank) that was first introduced during the First World War. But Franco Cologni, author of the book Cartier: The Tank Watch, writes that the Tank followed the design of the Santos watch. Louis Cartier publicized the watch as being influenced by the tank and gave the prototype to Americas General Pershing, thus further fueling the legend.
I just LOVE history like this!