Crash into me
You know how much I love this article, and thank you so much for more Cartier insight and coverage…had some “deep thoughts by @jonwatches”….
As you point out, the Cartier market is, in truth, very thin. There’s like 15 people globally who are thinking about this catalogue right now. Seriously. And seven hadn’t heard of Cartier ‘till last year. A lot of these pieces will have two bidders. But they will be crazy-eyed Cartier die-hards, and the sale should go very well. What makes this catalogue so fun is that it moves away from modern and CPCP into rare, shaped pieces from farther back in the catalogue, and thus all the more interesting. Davide Parmegiani has brought amazing Cartier pieces to market in the past few years, as he’s taken charge of the Monaco Legend auction
Lot 21, the Tank in leather band. A connoisseur piece that I’d beg someone to buy. It will be the best bargain at the sale. It’s fxcking cool, it’s got swag, and you might never see another one anywhere, ever again. I have been able to find only four examples, in total, either at auction or photographed in the literature. Literally Golberger level, as he owns one of the four. Or you could buy a Hulk (sound of me blowing my brains out). Why do I even share this info?🤦🏻. I can’t help myself, I love Cartier too much
Lot 59, the Helm. At 39mm, it’s one of the largest examples I’ve seen. It’s a spectacular watch. There are maybe five or ten helm pieces this distinctive that have come up for auction in the last 20 years. (there are lovely versions in white metals and with diamond plots etc., but the size of this piece is what makes it special - I can’t remember seeing one larger than 36mm)
Lot 38, the Reverso dual-time; single-face reversos can be found. Dual-time reversos are very rare and awesome and it’s a killer piece
Lot 64, the Obus Savonette. Same. This is the sort of piece where you’d have to work really hard to prove that Cartier made more than one or two. So special. Just an amazing piece for a serious collector
Lot 72, keep an eye out in case bidding is soft. If it goes within this range, it’s a great catch. People ask in the same range for platinum “Paris” dial versions on a strap. To get the bracelet, which would have been a custom order, would be amazing. Super rare. Just on its own, a Paris-dial platinum Tonneau is an A+ Cartier
Lot 88, the Grey Maxi Oval. And I’m calling it a maxi-oval ‘cause its 52 mm long, which is the maximum size for a Bagnoire, hence Maxi. Oval. (I think of Baignoire Allongee as being a 47mm watch, but who the hell knows if my view is correct). Unique in grey dial? I don’t think this piece has been on the market since 1996. Who the heck knows if there will be a buyer on Saturday, but it’s epic, frothing at the mouth and writhing on the floor good. All y’all can go jump in a lake if you don’t agree
On the pieces you cite above:
1) The Paris LE Crash - agreed, don’t understand $200k; albeit it’s arguably the most iconic post-war Cartier and a Crash is reasonably rare, even for Cartier. But 400 pieces is a big edition for Cartier, and these are smaller than the originals. I’d rather sit for three years on the London waiting list and buy one of the currently produced 12/year Crash, which are identical to the original versions for 1/5 the price. Easy for me to say as a guy who doesn’t own a Crash, but part of the fun of Cartier is that, generally, they aren’t that expensive until you get into deep vintage craziness
2) Lot 12, the top-winding Tank a Guichets - that is a very, very special piece. Done for the 1996 Cartier-themed Antiquorum auction, Cartier did three each in platinum, rose gold and gold. Nine, in all metals. Take that, Omega. I don’t have my notes with me but I bet only one has come up for auction in the past 15 years, if that
3) Lot 73, Tank a Guichets in platinum with platinum bracelet? Bid until it hurts and then bid more. It would break new ground for a Guichets, but if one is going to go for more than $100k, it might as well be this one (and/or lot 12). How many platinum Tank a Guichets have been made in the last 100 years? 200 pieces? maybe? (And that includes the 150 made in 1996). I can’t imagine more than 3 - 5 have original platinum bracelets. In 100 years. Once one goes down the Cartier rabbit hole, every other definition of “rare watch” makes one laugh
4) Lot 33, the piece unique Cloche in platinum, is just so good. How many platinum cloche has Cartier made in its entire history? 300 pieces? Maybe? Cartier sold out the 2020 Cloche in platinum before the press release even came out, with more than 4x order requests. And this piece with a unique dial. I like the radial Arabic numerals more than the radial Roman numerals. Looking forward to seeing what this piece brings
Agreed that # 2 - 4 all have a chance of breaking $100k, though that’s a lot of money for any modern Cartier - they will do well in all circumstances and are wonderful, special pieces
Thanks again for such a fun article!
Well done, Tony!
Michael - thanks so much for the info re: five identified pieces - that is very cool to know. I literally got distracted by my kids at the exact second that lot came up, which is probably a good thing. USD $18,100, so close to the last one. Fun to see it recognized as a nice piece, without crazy pricing
Tony - I will defer to you on the auction results coverage - will only note lot 73, the platinum Tank a Guichets (LE 150) with the custom ordered pt bracelet going for USD $134,000 which is, like, a lot of money. I think there might be one or two piece unique from the 96/97 + CPCP era that have gone for more, but not many - you were spot on for that piece
And my favorite, lot 88 (unique grey-dialed Maxi Oval) seemed well appreciated by bidders….