Debatable Origin: An 18K Cartier Clash Breaks Records After Selling for $1.65M in Auction - Objects of luxury

The starting bid was only $50. 

While prices for vintage Cartier pieces soar, auction platform Loupe This sold a 1967 Cartier Crash for a record $1.65 million. 

From the starting bid of $50, it grew to $1,503,888 over seven days. The amount totaled $1.65 million after adding a 10 percent buyer’s premium. 

Iterations of the Cartier Crash have been sold under other auction platforms. Last year, the previous record-holder was a 1970 piece selling for $884,972 at a Sotheby’s Geneva auction. 

Origin story 

Although the watch’s design is reminiscent of the distorted clocks in Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, the Clash has a debatable origin story. According to Sotheby’s, the concept comes from a Cartier client’s damaged Baignoire. 

In 1967, when they brought it to the Maison’s London store for repair, Jean-Jacques Cartier (the great-grandson of Cartier’s founder, Louis-François) took inspiration from the broken watch face caused by a car accident. The jeweler’s design symbolizes “non-conformism and creative freedom.” 

However, some watch enthusiasts are convinced that Dali’s surrealist painting played a role. 

Image from @hypebeast on Instagram

Since its debut in 1967, the Cartier Clash has been released in six renditions. Most recently, in 2019, the Cartier Clash Bond Street was launched to celebrate the brand’s Bond Street boutique re-opening. 

In 1991, limited to only 400 pieces, an interaction called Cartier Crash Paris was released. The smaller piece measured 38 mm instead of 43 mm. Instead of the words “Swiss Made” detailed on the watch face, the house replaced it with “Paris.” 

Banner photo from @hypebeast on Instagram. 

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