Cartier Tank Normale 78093Sold
Cartier Tank Normale 78093
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Aside from its name, there is absolutely nothing normal about this stunning Cartier Tank.
The Tank Louis is often thought to be the ‘original’ Cartier Tank that spawned many related models, but the Tank Normale is the actual grandfather of the Tank family. The least known among the Tank siblings, the Tank Normale was released to the public in 1919 and featured an elegant yet at the same time utilitarian design that was, and still is, easily recognizable due to its angular case with vertical crossbars.
The Tank Normale is pretty difficult to find and has only been produced in small numbers, especially in white metals. This exquisite and rare reference 78093 dates back to the 80's and features an 18k white gold case with a unique diamond setting. Usually, diamond set Tank models only feature diamonds on the vertical side bars (known as the brancards, which is French for “stretcher”). Yet, on this piece not only the brancards are set with diamonds but also the horizontal bars of the case. If that weren’t enough, the watch is delivered on its original and rare 18k white gold brick-style Cartier bracelet with the iconic deployant clasp.
The watch measures 20 x 28 mm and comes with the original ‘Cartier Paris’ signed enamel dial, indicating that the watch was sold in Cartier's legendary flagship boutique at the Place Vendôme. The dial, of course, features Cartier’s well-known painted black Roman numerals, painted railroad minute track, and blue sword hands. Normally diamond set Cartier watches have a crown topped with a diamond. This model has a blue sapphire, which is unusual but correct as it was also featured like this in an official '80s Cartier catalogue. This exceptional and historically important Tank Normale is in impeccable condition with sharp lines and a tight bracelet.
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.