Cartier Tank Obus 'Paris'

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The Cartier Tank Obus was introduced in 1923 and has only been produced in extremely limited numbers since. The Obus stands out among the Tank family as it does not feature the iconic vertical bars found, among others, on the Tank Louis. As the name Obus—which means bullet or shell in French—betrays, the distinguishing characteristics of this model are the exquisite bullet-shaped lugs.

While more recent executions of the Obus have a distinct square shape, this early model features an elegant 18k yellow gold rectangular case measuring in at 19 x 32 mm. The classic white dial sports Cartier’s iconic painted Roman numerals and elegant blued sword hands that match the sapphire-tipped crown. The ‘Paris’ signature at the six o’clock position indicates that this watch was retailed by Cartier’s flagship boutique at Paris’ Place Vendôme.

This lovely and obscure Tank Obus has just returned from a full service at Cartier as attested to by the accompanying service papers. The watch comes on a black alligator leather strap with an 18k yellow gold Cartier deployant buckle.


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.



Packages are generally dispatched within 2 days after receipt of payment and are shipped within the Netherlands by Registered Mail through the Dutch carrier PostNL and for other countries by Fedex. Consult us if you prefer another method of shipping. For most destinations tracking is available.