19th Anniversary

2019 Antiques & Fine Art 97 Fig. 8: A 1950s platinum diamond-set concealed “Spray” motif bracelet watch, Blancpain for Cartier. YE Olde Timekeepers, Inc. New York. The Picq Workshop and the “Tutti Frutti” Flower & Vine “Tree of Life” Motif, circa 1915–1930 Pierre recognized the need to innovate by adding different workshops to the Cartier brand, and, with his brothers, decided to establish workshops that would focus on particular creations and design innovations. One of these was the Henri Picq workshop in Paris, one of the most celebrated ateliers of their day. Henri Picq was recognized for introducing a process that produced a brighter platinum and allowed for heavy set stones to be used in more delicate settings. The workshop’s innovations led to some of Cartier and Henri Picq’s most iconic designs, its Flower and Vine (Fig. 2) and its highly sought after Tutti Frutti motif with carved stones (Figs. 3, 4). Such innovation allowed Cartier to once again separate themselves from their competition. Cartier in the 1940s: The Tank and The Helm Two World Wars left Europe in shambles and forever changed society norms and styles. A new sense of masculinity stemmed from the military, which Louis Cartier and the Cartier firm recognized. Seeking to meet the needs of its clients’ changed attitudes and maintain their own place in an ever-changing world, Cartier drew on the image of the French-made Renault ft-17 tank that saw action on the Western Front during World War I. Louis Cartier first designed the original “Tank” watch in 1917 as a gift for his friend General John “Black Jack” Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front. The case design was first offered to the public in 1919 and is one of the most iconic Cartier designs ever produced (Fig. 5). The Tank wristwatch was such a success for the firm that the Cartier’s decided to create different Tank case design concepts that could be collected. The Super Tank, Tank American, Tank Cintree, Chinois Tank, were among the many cases designed to represent the mutually reciprocal relationship the Cartiers had with the world for which they were designing. Similar to the Tank wristwatch that was designed to mimic the shape and lines of an actual tank, the “Helm” wristwatch case design concept was designed to mimic a ship’s wheel (Fig. 6). This design concept is less known due to its significantly lower production in the 1940s. As one of the first of Cartier’s round wristwatch designs, the Helm case design impacted Cartier timepieces for years to come by setting the foundation for Cartier’s first round, mass-produced wristwatch concept, “The Gouvernail” wristwatch case design (Fig. 7). Drawing inspiration from the Helm, The Gouvernail case design was similarly styled to display a transparent dial in a round shaped case just as exhibited by the