Cartier - WINNING ICONS – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century New York Thursday, October 26, 2017 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Cartier
    Year: Circa 1987
    Case No: 34716A
    Model Name: Crash
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 841, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Cartier leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k gold Cartier deployant buckle, hand stamped 34716A
    Dimensions: 48mm overall length by 25mm wide

  • Catalogue Essay

    Cartier has been at the forefront of intriguing watch and jewelry designs from their earliest days. Today, there are countless emblematic pieces manufactured by the firm, from their famed Flamingo brooch, to their classic Panthère collection, and their legendary line of classic elegant “Tank” watches, produced since 1917. The Crash watch, with its amazing, dream-like curved forms, is Cartier’s most radical watch design. Some believe the melted timepieces in Salvador Dali’s most recognizable work, the Persistence of Memory, inspired its fluid shape. The more widely accepted story involved a Cartier executive (others say it was a Cartier client) injured in a car accident. The watch worn was a Maxi Bagnoire Alongee, which melted from the fire that ensued, transforming its shape. He or she brought the watch to Cartier London for repair, and it was this watch that served as the model’s inspiration. The original watch was released in 1967 by Cartier London, and since then, very limited batches of the famed design were released throughout the decades until the present day. The present watch is believed to be part of a very limited number of examples produced by Cartier London in the late 1980s with the larger dimensions coveted most by collectors. Featuring London hallmarks on its case back and original Cartier deployant buckle further date its manufacture to 1986/1987. It perfectly embodies the unconventional and swinging times of the 1960s. Well preserved in excellent condition with an unpolished case and nicely aged dial, this watch is a wonderful example for the demanding collector. Hardly ever seen at auction, it’s a rare opportunity to acquire such an important and iconic timepiece.

  • Artist Biography



    With the Constitution of 1848 came a new standard for luxury in France. Founded one year prior by Louis-Francois Cartier, the house of Cartier was one of the first to use platinum in jewelry making. This incredibly expensive material became the stepping-stone for Cartier to experiment in form, mechanisms and attitude. It helped men move from pocket watches to wristwatches, effectively making the watch much more functional and prominent in a man's overall wardrobe.

    Cartier did not only touch on functionality. Inspired by a commissioned painting by George Barbier featuring a black panther at the feet of an elegantly bejeweled woman, Cartier began incorporating wild animals in his designs—most notably, Cartier Panthère rings, bangle bracelets and watches. Yet it wasn't until the late 1960s that the house of Cartier debuted their iconic yellow and rose gold LOVE collection, which includes the famous bracelet that only a special screwdriver can open. 

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A large, extremely rare and very fine yellow gold asymmetrical wristwatch.

Circa 1987
Case, dial and movement signed
48mm overall length by 25mm wide

$40,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $175,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293

WINNING ICONS – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century

New York Auction 26 October 2017