On May 5, 4:04 PM UTC
Cartier Paris Crash 1991
This auction is subject to a 10% buyer’s premium on top of final bid amount (hammer price).
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The Cartier Crash is a legendary timepiece with multiple spurious origin stories detailing things from fiery car crashes in central London to spontaneous inspiration following the arrival of a badly damaged watch brought in for service to Cartier’s London location. No matter its origin, the Cartier Crash is wrapped in mystique, and London is widely acknowledged as its spiritual, and literal, home due to its production being the brainchild of Jean-Jacques Cartier, the head of Cartier London at the time, and famed designer Rupert Emmerson. Jean-Jacques had decided in the mid-60s that it was time for Cartier London to create their own watches, and so Crash was born and first produced there. Designed by Cartier and Emmerson to reflect the surrealist design culture that was popular during the '60s, the Crash is entirely recognizable by its unconventional case shape reminiscent of Salvador Dali's melting clocks in his 1931 painting 'The Persistence of Memory' and its warped dial layout. The design was conceived as a Cartier Oval with "twisted ends". Constructed of 18kt yellow gold with Cartier's famed, and a collector favorite, Paris-signed Cartier dial in white featuring black exploded Roman numerals and blued steel hands, this timepiece is a beautiful example of the Crash in all of its wonderful glory. Produced in 1991, this example was part of the limited edition run of 400 pieces that Cartier's Paris boutique released in that same year and is individually numbered 316 on its caseback.
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Vetted & Approved
Est. value range
$150,000 – $250,000
38mm x 22mm
Manual-wind cal. 160
18kt Yellow gold
Watch is in excellent original condition. The cae has surface wear, but no major dings or scratches. There is a nice warm patina that has developed on the case sides. Crystal has some abrasions on it as shown in the images. Strap is worn.
Please Note: Due to CITES considerations, if the watch is to be shipped outside of the USA, the exotic skin strap will have to be removed.
Remaining true to the original, the 1991 Paris Boutique limited edition collection's only appreciable difference from the Crash's original design is its Paris-signed dial. This adherance to aesthetic continuity shows that even in the early 90s, long before their meteoric rise, Cartier knew they had something special on their hands with the Crash.