The UK perfect fake Cartier Tank became an instant icon after Rudolph Valentino wore one in Son of the Sheik – Hollywood heartthrobs Gary Cooper, Cary Grant and Clark Gable all quickly followed suit.
Inspired by WWI’s battlefields, Louis Cartier’s luxury copy watch continues to shine more than a century on, embraced by fashion icons from Frank Sinatra to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Designed by Louis Cartier in 1917, the 1:1 replica Cartier Tank watch follows the no-nonsense lines of the war machines that lend this classic timepiece its name. Elegant as the top copy watch may be, its aesthetics clearly echo those of the rugged armoured vehicles that rumbled into action during the First World War.
Note how the vertical “brancards” down each side of the UK luxury fake Cartier‘s case hint at a tank’s go-anywhere treads, the hands mimic the cannon’s barrel, while the square at the dial’s centre is reminiscent of a tank’s turret – specifically, that of the Renault FT-17, the first tank to possess a turret that rotated 360 degrees. The references are subtle, but clear.
Given this military provenance, it’s apt that an early prototype of AAA replica Cartier‘s watch was presented as a gift to General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces whose actions – including in tank-based battles – proved pivotal to winning the war.
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Although cheap replica wristwatches had begun to overtake pocket watches in sales volume by the time of its launch, due to its avant-garde design, the 1:1 fake Cartier Tank was initially a niche choice. As such, only a handful were manufactured in the early 1920s. The watch grew in popularity, however, after it was worn by matinee idol Rudolph Valentino while starring in the 1926 film Son of the Sheik – the actor’s last performance before his untimely death aged only 31.
Pershing and Valentino were among the first – but far from the last – individuals of note to sport a Cartier Tank replica for sale. In the century since its creation, variations of the watch have graced the wrists of countless luminaries.