Thom Browne is the best when it comes to getting famous and wealthy men into a uniform that suits their needs. The story began when the wealthy demo eagerly wore his famedly slimming, ankle-baring grey suits. This was the foundation of his brand. Over the years Browne has been able to persuade many men to try the skirted waters. Browne now has a Cartier Tank as an additional element to his uniform.
Browne confirmed that embroidered watches were stitched just below models’ sleeves during his Paris Fashion Week show. Most of them represent the Cartier Tank with a few resembling the Rolex Day Date. The detail was taken directly from the designer’s wardrobe. The embroidered version is modeled after his Tank. He stated that the Cartier Tank was his first choice. The Tank is still a favourite over a century after its creation in 1917.
According to Browne, the Tank was an ideal match for the show’s theme. He said that the collection was a tribute to the rich heritage of French couture fashion from the 1940s and 1950s. Browne appears to be referring to the devotion of the French upper-crust to the Tank. Harry Fane, a Cartier dealer, once said to me that in Paris, if you were an Aristocrat and you were 21 years of age, it was a rite to have your father take you to Cartier to purchase your first Cartier watch. All Browne’s customers are now able to dress up as mid-century French aristocrats.
Another sign of how watches are becoming more mainstream is the Tank-Browne crossover. Although they rarely meet in the middle, fashion is the emotional artform while watches are the mechanical tools, they are becoming more compatible. Alyx launched its Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in 2005, and Hermes now makes their own timepieces for collectors.
Cartier is the watchmaker that sits at the heart of this new entanglement. Tyler, the Creator, a fashion-conscious guy, is ready to upgrade his Casio. They suddenly find themselves several Cartier watches deep and at auctions dedicated Cartier’s pieces. Cartier is the brand that embraces bold design, leaving aside technical jargon which often dominates watch conversations. Eric Ku, a dealer, told me last year that Cartier is hot because people realize–finally realizing –that design is just the same as complications or other attributes.
Although the Tank was not the main attraction at Browne’s Paris show, it was the most important component men can include into their wardrobes without violating any public decency laws. Browne’s version won’t tell you the time, which is a relief to some collectors. Andy Warhol was known to have never kept his Tank ticking. He once stated, “I don’t wear a Tank for telling the time.” “In reality, I don’t wind it. It’s my favorite watch.”