Cartier Tank Jumbo Automatique
Cartier has an incredibly rich back catalogue with numerous models, produced in many different, often uncommon, executions.
Cartier Louis-François Cartier took over his master’s jewellery workshop in 1847.
Cartier has an incredibly rich back catalogue with numerous models, produced in many different, often uncommon, executions. This Tank Jumbo with automatic movement is the perfect example. Most vintage Tanks were small, elegant, handwinders, while Tanks produced since the 1980s often appear with a quartz movement. For a few years in the 1970s, however, Cartier produced a large Tank with an automatic movement. This rare Jumbo model measures 28 mm x 35 mm, significantly larger than the classic Tank Louis. To accommodate the automatic movement, the case back has a round protrusion. This may look odd at first, but on the wrist it isn’t noticeable at all. The Jumbo just wears as a more contemporary version of the classic Tank. This Jumbo dates back to the mid-1970s and sports the classic white dial with painted black Roman numerals and minute track that we have come to associate so closely with Cartier. The “Paris” signature at the 6 o’ clock position reveals that the watch was produced for and retailed by Cartier’s legendary boutique at Place Vendôme in Paris. These dials are often replaced by generic “Swiss” dials during service. Finding a rare watch like the Jumbo with the original dial is quite exceptional! The watch comes on a beautiful matte chocolate-brown alligator leather strap and an 18k yellow-gold Cartier folding clasp. The watch has just received a full service at Cartier and comes with the corresponding service papers plus a one-year Cartier warranty.
Cartier Louis-François Cartier took over his master’s jewellery workshop in 1847. Over the years, his sons and grandsons inherited the family business and expanded the brand by opening shops in New York and London. King Edward VII of the United Kingdom granted Cartier a prestigious royal warrant in 1904, calling the brand “the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers.” Such was the renown of Cartier, that royal warrants soon rolled in from all over the world (among which, Belgium, Egypt, Greece, Siam, Spain, Portugal, and Russia). While Cartier is known primarily for its jewellery, it also has a storied history in watchmaking. Cartier’s first foray in watchmaking came in 1888, offering exclusively ladies models. In 1904, Louis Cartier gave his friend and Brazilian aviation pioneer Santos Dumont a watch to wear during his flights. Until then, wrist watches were worn exclusively by women and men opted for the traditional pocket watch. The ‘Santos-Dumont’ was not only the first wristwatch geared towards men but also the first pilot’s watch. Cartier Tank The Cartier Tank was designed as a tribute to Allied troops and their Renault tanks during the Great War. The first prototype Tank was presented in 1917 to General Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War I. The watch became available to the public after the war was over in 1919. The Tank is easily recognizable due to its angular case with its vertical crossbars (known as ‘brancards’) and noticeable crown topped with a sapphire cabochon. Over a hundred years old now, the Tank has known many illustrious owners, among which Andy Warhol, Jackie Kennedy, Yves Saint Laurent, Frank Sinatra and Calvin Klein. It belongs among the most important watches in watch history and is still one of the cornerstones of Cartier’s collection.