Cartier Tank Louis London 1964



There are seldom watches that require zero introduction, and the Cartier Tank is not only one of them, it might just be the one that needs the least. Inspired by Renault Tanks used during the First World War, Louis Cartier released this rectangular watch with rounded brancards, Roman numerals with a black railroad track, blue 'Épée' hands, and a crown set with a cabochon in 1917. Since, the watch and its DNA have been re-imagined in all configurations, and its significance to history is profound. Princess Diana, Mohammed Ali, Andy Warhol, Ralph Lauren, Jackie Kennedy; the list of influential Tank owners is endless.

By the early 20th century, Paris, London, and New York were established as the three distinct houses of Cartier. Headed up by the founder's (Louis-François Cartier) three grandsons, this international spread of business was the key to the worldwide success of the Parisian jeweller and watchmaker.

Jacques Cartier went to London, Pierre to New York, and Louis Joseph Cartier remained at the Paris boutique. Over the decades of their blossoming, each location became known for its varying styles and slightly nuanced implementations of its creations, and in our world of watches, nuance is everything. While watches rarely came out of New York, London and Paris became some of the most desirable, with the London location taking the spot for being the most creative (Think the Crash). This left Paris to fulfil the most timeless and classic of styles. Nevertheless, there is a clear distinction and allure between each location's creations.

The Watch

To the casual viewer, the idea that there's a deep level of nuance to Cartier Tank models may come as a surprise. While discrepancies such as different metals, handsets and case shapes are apparent, others are slightly more subtle – take this Tank Louis, for example. Dating from 1964, this 18k yellow gold slice of truly iconic design hails from Cartier London, where Jean Jacques Cartier (JJC) produced his own take on the Tank exclusive to Bond Street.

Externally, there are no glaringly obvious signs of anything going against the norm aside from London hallmarks on the caseback, as the quintessential rounded brancards are only interrupted by another staple of Cartier design, the beaded crown with a blue sapphire cabochon. As arguably one of the most famous pieces of design ever, the exterior of a precious metal vintage Tank Louis is an extraordinary sight.

Nevertheless, the Tank holds a significant place in history not just because of its form but also because of its dial and features. Here is where the most apparent influence of JJC can be noted, as the 'chemin de fer' minute track towards the centre of the handpainted dial is absent. This design choice is a true hallmark of a Cartier London Tank, exclusively found with London produced Tanks from this era. Similarly, the instantly recognisable black Roman numerals are elongated compared to Tank's from Paris, resulting in an open and clean design. It's a stark, undiluted expression of the core principles every Cartier has built upon since the turn of the 20th century. Signed 'Cartier', the impact is striking. As was tradition for London dials, this elegant example is handpainted enamel, with thermally blue steel 'Épée' hands pulling together this achingly sophisticated Tank. All of the nuanced specificities of a London Tank are present and correct, acting as the powerful driving force behind this example's appeal.

Validating the London origins of this Tank is its deployant buckle included with the sale, identifiable by its singular loop design. Compared to the broader double loop seen on Paris buckles, this is a distinguishable feature that completes this wonderful Tank.  

Each arm of Cartier has slight individualities between Paris, London, and New York, with London's most famous creation being the Crash. While the Crash is a story for a different day, it's worth noting that three years before it came to fruition, JJC in London was producing Tanks such as this – a watch that feasibly paved the way. 

In terms of rarity, there is a belief that there are fewer Cartier Tank Louis London compared to the Cintrée London, a notion supported by auction records and the expertise of collectors.

The Movement

Powering this mid-1960s London Tank is a manually wound movement signed Cartier Inc. This mechanical movement is the original movement for the watch and is complete with 18 jewels, Côtes de Genève striping, and lovely flowing anglage, despite being hidden behind a closed case back.

Detailed images movement are available upon request.

How It Wears

At 23mm wide by 31mm in length and 5.7mm in depth, this London example is the quintessential size and form for a Tank. Suitable for larger and smaller wrists alike, on the wrist, this Tank is worthy of all the praise.

The Hallmarks & Numbers


  • 143XXXX

Caseback Engravings:

  • .98XX.
  • 69XX
  • London Hallmarks

Internal Case Engravings:

  • .98XX.
  • [JC] Maker’s mark for Cartier London
  • Crown
  • 18
  • Lion
  • Small italic ‘i’ indicating the year 1964

Cartier ‘Deployant’ Clasp:

  • 18kt Yellow Gold
  • 07XX
  • English Hallmark ‘i’ indicating the year 1964

Detailed images of the hallmarks and movement are available upon request.


Dating from 1964, this Cartier Tank Louis London is presented in remarkable condition, considering it is 60 years old. The dial carries light patina in the corners, however, the engravings throughout the case remain deep. The watch is offered with the Cartier 'Deployant' London buckle in 18k yellow gold, identifiable by its singular loop design versus the wider double loop as seen on Paris buckles.

If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. No stock is kept on site.

* Every watch is delivered in a Mr WATCHLEY Membrane Protection Box for a safe transportation in addition to its original set *

Reference London Tank Louis
Movement Manual
Caliber Original Cartier movement
Dial Hand-painted enamel 
Size (Case) 31 mm x 23 mm
Material (Case) Yellow gold
Bracelet Custom made Madras
Buckle Original Cartier 1964 London folding buckle
Hallmarks & numbers Deep & easy to read
Year 1964
Papers  - 
Box Yes
Warranty 2 years


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