In 1912, Cartier introduced the oval Baignoire and tortoise-shell shaped Tortue models, followed in 1917 by Cartier’s most famous early wristwatch , the Tank, which was reportedly inspired by the design of Renault tanks used during World War I. Rudolph Valentino wore a Tank in the 1921 silent classic The Sheik. Elegant 18k ladies white gold Cartier Tank Americaine with diamonds surrounding the bezel. Watch features Calibre 157 Cartier movement and beautiful diamonds on the bezel and a single diamond on the crown. All diamonds are factory original, and hand set by Cartier master jewelry makers. Watch includes all original solid 18k gold links.
A few years ago, Cartier decided that this was not enough. They wanted even more legitimacy, especially with the growing population of seasoned watch lovers. This meant adding a lot more high-end watches to their range, as well as offering in-house made movements. Well, sometimes “in-house” just meant no one else was using those movements but that’s another matter altogether. I also suspect this push to make movements was partly due to ETA’s (Swatch Group owned while Cartier is Richemont) continual threats to stop supplying movements to outside brands. ETA hasn’t done this yet but Cartier was smart to invest in movement manufacturing in the event that it does happen.
People also look at a watch as an investment. And that’s relatively important to what I do. People buy these things not only to wear them and enjoy them, but so that the value will increase. Prices go up and prices go down on various models, categories, and brands of watches based on various factors, including economics, fashion, and the desires of collectors. The first commercial wristwatches I’m aware of were produced during the late 19th century, around 1870 or so. They were usually made of silver, and while they closely resembled wristwatches which were to follow, they must not have been very popular as not very many have survived.
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Gruen made a great variety of designs, sizes, and styles. Technically the Curvex isn’t very innovative. They dished out the top plate of the movement to allow the case to curve a bit without being too thick, but the basic movements are exactly the same as in their regular wristwatches. The barrel is in the same place, as is the balance, fitted the same way. Worth mentioning is the Tank Asymetrique, produced in a limited edition of just 150 pieces, and the unlimited Tank Chinoise. Almost every historic Cartier model was re-released in ‘Collection Privée, Cartier Paris’.