Today's offering showcases this elegant vintage mens midsize Cartier Tank Americaine that was owned and worn by the "King of Comedy", the late Jerry Lewis.
Born as Joseph Levitch, Jerry Lewis, was a legendary American comedian, actor, singer, filmmaker and humanitarian, nickcamed "the King of Comedy" and "The Total Filmmaker".
Lewis' career took off in 1946 when he and fellow singer Dean Martin began performing together. They quickly rose to national prominence, first with their popular nightclub act, then as stars of their NBC radio program The Martin and Lewis Show. In 1950 they signed with NBC to be one of a series of weekly rotating hosts of The Colgate Comedy Hour, a live Sunday evening broadcast.
By 1951, with an appearance at the Paramount Theater, they were a cultural phenomenon, attracting crowds rivaled only by Frank Sinatra earlier and later by Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
Between 1950 until their breakup in 1956 they starred in fourteen movies. Their films were consistent financial successes for Paramount and hugely popular with audiences.
After a successful show singing on stage, the first time he had sung alone on stage since he was five years old, at his wife's pleading, he used his own money to record songs on a single. Decca Records heard it, liked it and insisted he record an album for them. The single of Rock-a-Bye Your Baby went to #10 and the album Jerry Lewis Just Sings went to #3 on the Billboard charts, staying near the top for four months and selling a million and a half copies. He released several albums as a singer, selling millions of records.
After his breakup with Martin, Lewis launched his solo career as a filmmaker and comedian. In 1959, a contract between Paramount and Jerry Lewis Productions was signed specifying a payment of $10 million plus 60% of the profits for 14 films over seven years.
This contract made Lewis the highest paid individual Hollywood talent to date and was unprecedented in that he had unlimited creative control, including final cut and the return of film rights after 30 years. Lewis' clout and box office were so strong (his films had already earned Paramount $100 million in rentals) that Barney Balaban, head of production at Paramount at that time, told the press, "If Jerry wants to burn down the studio I'll give him the match!"
Throughout the 1960's he continued to make movies and in 1962 took on being the guest host on "The Tonight Show" during the transition from Jack Paar to Johnny Carson.
From the 1970's through the 2010's he continued to star in movies, work as a director, producer and screenwriter.
Lewis was also a world-renowned humanitarian, philanthropist and "number one volunteer" who supported fundraising for research into muscular dystrophy. Throughout his career, he raised awareness for muscular dystrophy, while as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
In late 1966, the live annual Labor Day event of The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon (also referred to as Jerry Lewis Extra Special Special, Jerry Lewis Super Show and Jerry Lewis Stars Across America) debuted in syndication and would air each year.
For decades, the broadcast originated from different locations including New York, Las Vegas and Hollywood and was the most successful fundraising event in the history of television. The show, with Lewis as its iconic host and emcee and help from a legion of top celebrities and entertainers, raised billions of dollars during the years. In 1977, Lewis was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the charity. In its first year, the show raised over $1 million. In his lifetime Lewis raised an estimated $2.6 billion in donations for the cause.
Lewis was also known for his friendship with Sammy Davis Jr.
This Cartier was owned and worn by Mr. Lewis, who had a strong preference - perhaps an exclusive preference - for midsize watches. At times he even wore ladies model watches.
It is in excellent condition and we have left the case unpolished just as we received it. It comes with the Beuche Girod he had on it (he owned several Beuche Girod watches as well) and its original 18K gold Cartier deployment buckle.
One of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled the movement making it ready for immediate enjoyment. Please inquire if you would like photos of the inside. This is an uncommon English / London version Cartier and bears the correct hallmarks on the inside.
Included with the purchase is a one-year C.O.T. international warranty on the movement and its function and a Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity and Provenance.
Accompanying the watch is its original Cartier box.
Cartier Tank Americaine:
No watches better embody the best attributes of a Cartier than the renowned Tank series, the most recognizable Cartier watches. Designed personally by Louis Cartier in 1917 and patterned after an army tank, it symbolized speed, achievement, and resistance. The famous Americaine version of the Tank is the elongated version which stretches across the wrist.
Country of origin: Switzerland / England
Maker: Cartier / Jaeger-LeCoultre
Model: Tank Americaine
Serial no.: 1,900,675
Cartier registration no.: 10725, 8299
Functions: Hours, Minutes
Case material: 18K gold
Case markings (outer): Cartier registration numbers
Case markings (inside): 10725, 18, correct British hallmarks
Case condition: Excellent with fairly light wear, left just as we acquired it. It has never been polished. A light polishing could make it close to mint.
Dimensions: 19mm including crown x 36mm
Dial: White with painted black radial Roman numerals, inner railroad minute track. Blued steel hands. Previously restored.
Movement type: Jaeger-LeCoultre for Cartier, handwound, rhodium plated, shock protected in two places
Band: Band installed for Mr. Lewis, signed Beuche Girod, with watch's original 18K gold Cartier deployment buckle, currently fits a wrist up to a little under 7 inches
Crystal: Mineral glass, mint condition
Serviced: One of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it making it ready for immediate enjoyment.
Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system.
Warranty: 1-Year International C.O.T. warranty. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Box/Papers: BOX - Original Cartier box; PAPERS - Custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity
Returns: 7 days full refund. 100% satisfaction guarantee
We offer a 100%
satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way
unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime
within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our
client's expectations throughout the buying experience.
All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially
constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All
watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic
shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail,
and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier.
International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.
The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any
required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and
taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.
Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be
guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not
recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed
to be waterproof.