On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
If I were writing this song, the sentence would conclude with a Cartier Tank watch. It’s hard to believe that an object of such simple beauty was indeed inspired by a tank. Louis Cartier was so impressed by the tanks he saw on the Western front during World War I, that he designed the watch as a tribute in 1917. The rectangular shape echoes the body of the tank and those with metal bracelets are designed to resemble the caterpillar track. The classic Tank watch has blue, sword shaped hands and a blue cabochon on the winder. The face is guilloche, which refers to a regular, geometric pattern scratched on the surface by a machine invented by the Frenchman Guillot who ostensibly invented the technique in the 1500s. The guilloche is then enameled to resemble an opal. This is the same technique used by Carl Fabergé on his fabulous eggs to give the metal depth and jewel-like complexity. Speaking of jewels, the many models of the Tank are available with or without diamonds. As for the strap or bracelet, you have many choices, metal, leather, or even satin. I prefer the simplest Tanks myself, with a case in either stainless steel or gold and a black leather strap. Are you listening, Santa?
Today’s expression, faire quelque chose montre en main (fair kelkuh shows montruh ehn mahn) means “to do something watch in hand.” It refers to an exact deadline, like “I’ll check my Christmas stocking for a Cartier Tank at 7:00 AM on December 25, montre en main.”
For all 12 days of Christmas:
11. Hermès scarf