Cartier - The 2021 New York Watch Auction New York Saturday, December 11, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Cartier
    Year: Circa 1960
    Movement No: 2181333
    Case No: 1680
    Model Name: Tank Normale
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k pink gold deployant buckle stamped JC with London hallmarks
    Dimensions: 23mm width x 31mm length
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, clasp additionally signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by red leather Cartier presentation box

  • Catalogue Essay

    The wristwatch became a fashionable and chic accessory at the turn of the 20th century, and famed retailer Cartier was at the forefront bringing a modern aesthetic to the world of horology. Louis-Joseph Cartier, grandson of the founder, created some of the most cherished timepieces still available today, and sought after by collectors and watch enthusiasts alike. From his 1904 Santos for Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, to his 1906 Tonneau-shaped, and 1912 Tortue-shaped watches, Cartier showed a marketing instinct that became a global phenomenon.
    Cartier wristwatches are synonymous with elegance, grace, and classic design, and their iconic Tank Normale is the timepiece, which for over a century has been at the forefront of Cartier’s branding. Louis-Joseph Cartier introduced the Tank in 1917 with a ground-breaking aesthetic believed to be inspired by the top view of the very first Renault military tank vehicle deployed during World War I. A prototype Tank watch was given to General John J. Pershing of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, which cemented the design story. The Tank was appreciated for its bold square case, stretched rectangular sides, and clean, legible dial with Roman numerals. The watch has been associated with politicians, movie stars, and fashionistas with one of the most famous Tanks owned and worn by Jackie Kennedy. The design evolved over the decades and is known today for other classic vintage variations from the Tank Cintrée, Chinoises, Tank à Guichets, Basculante, and Asymétrique, to the modern Tank Américaine and Anglaise.
    The present 1960s example from Cartier London is extremely well-preserved, with a well-proportioned case, and crisp case numbers, and fitted with its original deployant buckle with matching serial number. Crisp London hallmarks are found on the inside of the case and throughout the buckle. Before becoming a unified brand, Cartier operated with separate boutiques in London, Paris and New York and timepieces from this period are highly sought after by collectors both for their iconic designs as well as their place in the history of horology. The Tank Normale was the wristwatch that set the DNA for Cartier’s future, and this lot is a wonderful opportunity to own part of that history.

  • Artist Biography



    With the Constitution of 1848 came a new standard for luxury in France. Founded one year prior by Louis-Francois Cartier, the house of Cartier was one of the first to use platinum in jewelry making. This incredibly expensive material became the stepping-stone for Cartier to experiment in form, mechanisms and attitude. It helped men move from pocket watches to wristwatches, effectively making the watch much more functional and prominent in a man's overall wardrobe.

    Cartier did not only touch on functionality. Inspired by a commissioned painting by George Barbier featuring a black panther at the feet of an elegantly bejeweled woman, Cartier began incorporating wild animals in his designs—most notably, Cartier Panthère rings, bangle bracelets and watches. Yet it wasn't until the late 1960s that the house of Cartier debuted their iconic yellow and rose gold LOVE collection, which includes the famous bracelet that only a special screwdriver can open. 

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A very fine and attractive yellow gold wristwatch with presentation box

Circa 1960
23mm width x 31mm length
Case, dial and movement signed, clasp additionally signed.

$6,000 - 12,000 

Sold for $49,140

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293


The 2021 New York Watch Auction

New York Auction 11 - 12 December 2021