Cartier Tank Louis Mecanique 78086


Out of stock


The Cartier Tank Louis Mecanique is among the most classic designs from Cartier. It is a timepiece that transcends passing trends and remains as iconic and elegant as ever. This stunning example, is the reference 78086 from circa 1990.

The 18k solid yellow gold case is in excellent condition overall, showing some light wear consistent with age and use. The case back is signed Cartier Paris and 18k Swiss which corresponds with the original Swiss-signed dial correct for this period. The case measures 30.5mm by 23.5mm which is the classic gentleman’s size Tank from the period.

The watch is complimented by a Cartier black leather strap and original 18k solid gold Cartier deployment clasp. Overall this is an excellent original example ready to wear or fit into a collection.


London – UK




Tank Louis


Circa 1990


18K Yellow-Gold


Mecanique, Manual Wind




Leather Strap w/ 18k Solid Gold Cartier Deployment Clasp


Cartier Pouch, Watches of Knightsbridge Documentation


Cartier History
Founded in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier after taking over the Parisian-based workshop of his mentor, Adolphe Picard, Cartier has grown from a relatively tiny family business into one of the world’s largest household-name jewellers. While the brand’s success has been immense, it is better attributed to Louis-François’ sons, Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who took charge of the brand in various regions. Louis led the Paris workshop while Pierre went stateside and opened a workshop in NYC in 1909. Just eight years later, in 1917, Pierre opened the iconic 653 Fifth Avenue location, which Cartier still finds itself in to this day.

While the brand’s popularity was originally attributed to their jewellery, the development of their wristwatch business drove the jeweller to new heights. In 1904, Cartier’s first men’s wristwatch, the Cartier Santos, was born when famed aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont told Louis Cartier about the impracticalities of using a pocket watch during flight. Seeing a solution to the problem, Louis designed the Cartier Santos as a wrist-mounted timepiece with a square case, angular bezel and manually-wound movement. In 1907 the brand entered into an agreement with Edmond Jaeger to supply movements to the brand, and from then on, the brand’s reputation was equally rooted in their watches as it was their jewellery. Following the Santos, Cartier released watches like the Tank, the Tortue and several other iconic watches.

Throughout their history, Cartier have developed an incredibly strong reputation as a revered watchmaker thanks to their partnerships with esteemed watchmakers like Edmond Jaeger (who would later enter into a partnership with LeCoultre leading to the Jaeger LeCoultre brands as we know today) and brands like Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet.

While their reputation waned in the 80s and 90s as they turned to jewellery-oriented quartz timepieces, they made a conscious effort to turn things around in the late 90s with a programme that became the birthplace of some of their most sought-after modern watches.