Cartier - Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR Geneva Friday, November 11, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Cartier
    Year: 1929
    Movement No: 32'829
    Case No: 23'228
    Model Name: Tortue à Pattes
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 11””, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold deployant clasp stamped 23525
    Dimensions: 33mm long
    Signed: Dial signed Cartier, movement signed European Watch Co
    Accessories: Accompanied by a laminated Cartier Certificate of Authenticity confirming production of the watch in 1929.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Cartier is one of those magical names that immediately bring to mind a bygone era of lavish lifestyle and Parisian chic. The “King of Jewelers, Jewelers to Kings”, it’s a rare jewelry brand whose horological creations have been so influential in the development and success of the wristwatch. The present lot is a hardly ever seen “Tortue à Pattes” single button chronograph from 1929. An example of the emblematic designs Cartier is known for, the Tortue case was invented by them in 1912 and is a modified version of the tonneau shape, with shorter lugs and a wider center resembling a turtle’s shell – thus the name “tortue”. The case of the present example is characterized by slightly longer lugs, and is known as the Tortue à Pattes, or turtle on legs. Whereas Cartier was always in charge of its exuberant designs, in the early 20th century, it partnered with the best movement makers for the supply of calibers. The exquisite, single-button chronograph movement in the present example was made exclusively for Cartier by the European Watch Company, a joint, Paris-based company established in the early 1920s between Cartier and Edmond Jaeger (who would later join forces with LeCoultre to create Jaeger-LeCoultre). Breathtakingly thin and fine, the present lot is not only a superbly crafted wristwatch with a daring design, but also an extremely rare timepiece as only a handful of these single button Tortue à Pattes chronographs have appeared at auction in the past decade. The present lot is sure to please the sophisticated collector looking for a timepiece combining rarity, exceptional watchmaking, exclusivity, and stunning design.

  • 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 attractive and extremely rare yellow gold single button chronograph wristwatch

33mm long
Dial signed Cartier, movement signed European Watch Co

CHF40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for CHF77,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016