Cartier - The Watch Auction: One Geneva Saturday, May 9, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Cartier
    Year: 1970
    Case No: 177'953
    Model Name: Tortue
    Material: 18k white gold
    Calibre: Backwind, 426
    Bracelet/Strap: Crocodile
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k white gold deployant buckle, signed Cartier and numbered 21146
    Dimensions: 30mm. Width; 37mm. Length
    Signed: Case and movement signed
    Accessories: With additional transparent disc

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present Tortue shaped wristwatch is one of Cartier’s most avant-garde and modernist designs and hitherto unknown. It is thanks to the small diameter of calibre 426 that this design can be created by holding the movement by glass disks, seemingly floating within the case. Jaeger LeCoultre and Cartier used this clever system on a variety of wristwatches, dress watches and desk timepieces. This white gold example however is certainly one of the most elegant and exclusive designs. Preserved in excellent condition, it is not only a superb collector’s watch but also an eye-catching conversation piece when worn on formal occasions.

  • 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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An extremely rare and highly unusual white gold mystery wristwatch with back winding

30mm. Width; 37mm. Length
Case and movement signed

CHF25,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF32,500

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm