Faire quelque chose montre en main

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.”

Cartier The Tank Watch


For all 12 days of Christmas:

1. Cartier Tank watch

2. Hermès Kelly bag

3. Assouline book

4. Atelier du Gantier gloves

5. Anne Fontaine blouse

6. French Perfume

7. Hermès bracelet

8. Diptyque candle

9. Cartier Trinity collection

10. Longchamp Le Pliage tote

11. Hermès scarf

12. Apartment in Paris


About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
This entry was posted in Jewelry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Faire quelque chose montre en main

  1. aw says:

    your blog pages are very smart, funny, and tout à fait exactes. Ah, you see, I put a feminine here, but in French I think I would have written “votre blog est intelligent, drôle, and absolutely accurate”.
    Vivre en France ? Choisissez bien le lieu, son climat, les gens, la propreté des rues, la vie culturelle. Tout est différent, et en quelques dizaines de kilomètres vous changez presque de culture, vous changez de monde. Enfin, tout ça, vous le savez manifestement déjà.Bravo, brava.

  2. Pingback: Mettre à sac | One quality, the finest.

  3. Pingback: Un de perdu, dix de retrouvés | One quality, the finest.

  4. Pingback: Il n’y a pas d’élégance possible sans parfum | One quality, the finest.

  5. Pingback: Mettre la tête au carré à quelqu’un | One quality, the finest.

  6. Pingback: Prendre le pli de | One quality, the finest.

  7. Pingback: Battre le pavé | One quality, the finest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s