9,6 / 10
White & Gold
This watch is a perfect example of Ceinture “2 Ors Grand Modèle” from the mid 1970s.
The Ceinture was so named because the case is shaped like a belt’s buckle (ceinture is the French word for belt) with a very interesting square case featuring corners that appear to be “cut.” The winding crown, usually quite prominent and set with a blue sapphire – Cartier’s signature element – is completely flat here, residing in a slot in the watch bezel without its usual sapphire cabochon.
For the purists, the manual- winding “Grand Modèle” (27 mm) is probably the preferred version. This example in yellow and white gold is quite rare and is in perfect condition, and especially its Paris dial.
About the model
Cartier introduced the Tank in 1917. The design of the Tank was inspired by the Renault FT-17 tanks: Cartier took the look of this tank’s treads and applied it to the lugs, which were integrated via brancards into the case itself.
Plenty happened with Cartier and the Tank during the middle part of the twentieth century, and it would be impossible to write an exhaustive history of every Tank variation here. The Tank Louis Cartier was introduced in 1922, and it represents the quintessence of all the Cartier Tanks.
This model was not immediately named after its maker, Louis Cartier. It was first named “Tank à Bords Arrondis”, but probably for simplification purposes, it was renamed Tank Louis Cartier or Tank LC in 1924. With its frank Art Deco appearance, handsomely-aged rectangular dial, crisp Roman numerals, and blued steel sword hands, this model is the benchmark for all Cartier Tank models.
During almost 100 years, the Tank Louis Cartier has been fitted with many different movements, including European Watch & Clock calibers at the beginning (EWC was a joint venture company created by Cartier and Edmond Jaeger in the 1920s), Jaeger Lecoultre, ETA, Audemars Piguet, Frédéric Piguet…
In 1973, 12 models are commercialized within the new Collection Louis Cartier (Ceinture, Square, Ellipse, Santos, Baignoire, Vendôme, Cristallor, Gondole, Fabergé, Coussin, Tank Normale and Tank Louis Cartier).
The manual-winding Ceinture was proposed in:
- 4 different materials (Yellow Gold, White Gold, “2 Ors”, meaning Yellow Gold / White Gold, and Platinum);
- 2 different sizes (Ladies in 24×24 mm and Men in 27x27mm).
A self-winding model (ref. 17001, 31×31 mm) has also been commercialized in white or yellow gold.