Cartier - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Cartier
    Year: Circa 1950
    Movement No: 444'754
    Case No: 34222
    Model Name: Helm Watch
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Cartier deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 32.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, and dial signed, case and movement further with Cartier hand stamped numbers, case signed European Watch and Clock Company

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the late 1940s, the round wristwatch surpassed the Art-Deco inspired form watches of the previous decades in terms of popularity. Cartier took the notion of a round wristwatch one step further by creating one with another circular bezel attached by circular fixtures. This design gave way to the name "Helm Watch", or "Timone" in Italian, named such because of its design resembling a ship's wheel.

    The Helm watches were produced in different variations either as wristwatches or pocketwatches but always in extremely limited examples. An almost identical timepiece is part of the Cartier private collection, having previously belonged to the Maharaja of Kapurthala, a ruler known for his exquisite taste, however also with a yellow gold bracelet.

    An alluring and glamorous design of the past, the present watch showcases Cartier's ingenuity and flair for 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 well-preserved yellow gold helm-shaped wristwatch

Circa 1950
32.5mm Diameter
Case, and dial signed, case and movement further with Cartier hand stamped numbers, case signed European Watch and Clock Company

CHF40,000 - 80,000 

Sold for CHF44,100

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East Director

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021