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June 27, 2012

Cartier, The Tank Watch

There couldn’t be a book more suitable for a watch nerd like myself.  I used to spend high school afternoons leafing through the Cartier website, dreaming to own every style in every precious metal, and now, well, I’m still dreaming.  Cartier, The Tank Watch celebrates the French house’s most iconic watch in all its iterations and provides a compendium of photographs and the stories behind each one.

Cartier, The Tank Watch by Franco Cologni (Flammarion)

The book spans the entire history of the Tank, from the first one by Louis Cartier, to my dream watch, the Americaine, to the very recent Tank Anglaise, which I have yet to see to believe.

I had the privilege of trying on the very rare Tank Cintree (left) at the Cartier boutique on Fifth Avenue a few months ago. The watch, produced in 1924, could be credited as the predecessor to today's Tank Americaine. It is thinner, longer, and narrower, but in no way flimsy; for something designed in the 1920s, it feels incredibly modern. The tank Chinoise (right) echoes the shape of the doorways at Chinese temples. It was a watch that my father once considered buying; I sure do hope he reconsiders. We are part Chinese after all, aren't we?

Andy Warhol poses with his dachshund, Tank Must de Cartier watch on wrist. The Tank Must de Cartier became a popular choice back in the day as it was relatively affordable and even produced in gold vermeil. The vintage one depicted on the right, with a blood-red dial on a lizard strap, would make for a great everyday watch.

The book will available at the Rizzoli Bookstore in September 2012.  Book c/o Rizzoli.

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