Cartier Tank Anglaise
Cartier Tank Anglaise Watch
First sold in 1919 and identified as the Cartier watch ever since, the universality of its appeal has been phenomenal. But the glare of the Tank’s fame has also obscured Cartier’s long history as a maker of some of the most complicated and beautiful watches and clocks ever produced.
Cartier’s rare “mystery” clocks not only show the pinnacle of its watchmaking skills but also set the foundation for today’s Fine Watchmaking Collection, which the company launched with the Ballon Bleu model. The mystery clocks are an almost unsettling illusion, in which the hands are suspended between two planes of rock crystal and seem to move, suspended in space, with no visible connection to the rest of the clock. They’re literally magic tricks, invented in 1912 by French magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, the father of modern magic, whose work inspired the film The Illusionist. It’s this mechanical ingenuity that Cartier has carried over to its fine watchmaking designs.