I was introduced to my personal grail Cartier Louis Cartier Tank replica watch by a close friend of mine who had recently treated himself to a new watch.
It wasn’t Cartier’s first Tank watch; that honor belongs to the Tank Normale introduced in 1917.
Louis Cartier was so inspired by the non-round concept that he created the Tank bearing his name two years later in 1919. During Cartier’s lifetime many other Tank models followed, each reaching legendary status, yet still never quite as legendary as the steel fake Cartier Louis Cartier Tank watch.
At the time I had no idea that this would become my grail watch, but when he placed his timepiece in my hands, I felt like time stood still. A warm glow fell over me: I knew I held in my hands true horological perfection!
Andy Warhol was even so fond of the Louis Cartier Tank that he owned several of them.
Despite the fame of this particular model, Cartier has always been quite conservative with the versions in which the Louis Cartier Tank was available: it has only been available as a manual wind in either yellow gold or platinum, one size fits all, for decades.
With the introduction of quartz movements, Cartier also allowed one in the Louis Cartier Tank and even went so far as to add a date.
The watch in question was a Louis Cartier Tank. When the generic “Tank watch” is mentioned, this is usually is the version most people think of.
It was only in 2005 that Cartier introduced the larger Louis Cartier Tank XL, now also available in pink gold, but even in that watch the original “DNA” was closely guarded.
The Louis Cartier Tank I desired so much predated the CPCP collection. To most people, these two would look like one and the same watch; yet to me, they are almost completely different animals.
Rudolph Valentino refused to take off his Tank in 1926 while filming The Sheik, despite the fact that at the time the movie was set, wristwatches didn’t even exist.
That platinum case itself was a problem, too. While a yellow gold Louis Cartier Tank was already really, really stretching my budget, the platinum model was even more expensive – even though it significantly contributed to the understatement of the Louis Cartier watch replica. However, yellow gold simply would not do it for me.