Since the nineteenth century, it has been royalty’s favourite
Since its early beginnings, Cartier has always found appeal amongst the world’s elite. In fact, King Edward VII of England famously referred to Cartier as ‘the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers’. To this day, Cartier is the go-to jeweller and watchmaker of the international aristocracy and of the most fashion-conscious individuals.
The honourable clientele includes one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century -Truman Capote. The Tank has occupied a very special position in Capote’s watch collection, as one of his ultimate favourites. During an interview, Capote famously reproached the interviewer for wearing an apparently unattractive timepiece. Capote reportedly exclaimed: ‘Take that ugly watch off your wrist, and put on that one.’ He then unbuckled his Cartier Tank and handed it over to the abashed journalist. Seeing the man’s protestations, he followed: ‘I beg you, keep it, I have at least seven at home.’
A contemporary of Truman Capote – Andy Warhol, also fell under the spell of the Cartier Tank. The vibrant individual and icon of the pop art movement, wore the Tank Solo in 18k yellow gold, with a white dial and the typical black roman numbers. He was once heard commenting on his watch, saying: ‘I don’t wear a Tank watch to tell the time. In fact, I never wind it. I wear a Tank because it’s the watch to wear.’ Indeed, being one of the most iconic watches ever produced, the Tank’s understated elegance, and androgynous demeanour makes it the watch for both men and women of class.
Cartier Tank has long had a legacy of being a watch fit for a first lady. Its modern version in stainless steel adorned the wrist of Michelle Obama for her White House portrait. Featuring a steel bracelet and white dial expressed Michelle’s simple yet stylish elegance. The American First Lady, noticed for her exquisite fashion sense, resorted to an equally refined and classic timepiece. Arguably influenced by Jackie Kennedy, who famously wore the same model of the watch, Michelle’s wristwatch indicates the broader similarities in style between the two women. Like Jackie, Michelle wore a double pearl necklace, black formal dress, and most significantly, the iconic Cartier watch as she officially walked into the White House for the first time. Apart from the Tank, other popular timepieces of the brand, such as the Panthère de Cartier have found enthusiasm among high profile individuals. An icon of the 1980s, it has been recently reinvented after disappearing from the market for quite some time. Now offered in a multitude of styles and finishes, it is as glamorous as ever.
Among its avid fans is the rock & roll superstar Keith Richards. With its three rows of brushed stainless steel bracelet, soft square shape in an overall purist design, the Panthère is unsurprisingly regarded as an archetype of refined luxury.
Another famous wearer of Cartier timepieces is Kate Middleton. The Duchess of Cambridge is a proud owner of a Ballon Bleu de Cartier. This quartz version of the watch is remarkably plain. Its simple, steel case devoid of any diamonds arguably corresponds to Kate’s low-key style. Thus, her Cartier watch – a daily companion, communicates her desire to avoid any ostentatious, or flashy demeanour.