Christie’s Expert to Vintage Watch Collectors: (Jackie O’s) Cartier Tank for the Win!

Christie’s is looking for customers for its upcoming online course: History of Watches: 1700 to Now. To help liberate $1500 from punters’ pockets, Christie’s PR department’s published a Q & A with its e-professor: “independent watch consultant” Dr. Andrew Hildreth. Its pithiness bodes well for the course’s accessibility. And here’s the watch Dr. H. reckons watch collectors should collect . . .

If I were to recommend a class of vintage watches to collectors, it would be the Cartier Tank. There are a number of important and knowledgeable collectors out there who are looking seriously at the Tank and all its design iterations. Before the Second World War it had an almost bespoke nature, so the differences in design and low production numbers make them highly collectible.

Hmm. I’m not sure Dr. Hildreth are on the same page, collecting wise. Check out the caption for the watch at the top of this post:

Cartier. A fine and historically important 18k gold square-shaped wristwatch, belonging to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Signed Cartier, Tank Model, movement no. 2’117’860, case no. 44374, manufactured in 1962. Sold for $379,500 on 21 June 2017 at Christie’s in New York

A little too rich for my blood. Speaking of which . . .

Was the First lady weaaring this particular timepiece on November 22, 1963? Both Christie’s and the horological press were strangely silent on the subject, which, let’s admit it, could account a large part of the watch’s success at auction.

OK, sure, fashion icon. Gotcha. I look forward to quizzing Dr. H. about Mrs. Kennedy’s Cartier Tank watch as one of his students (me, not the watch). Meanwhile, here’s’s take on the future Jackie O’s timepiece:

This Tank was a gift to Jackie from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw Radziwill, who was married to her sister Caroline Lee Bouvier at the time. It was given to commemorate a 50-mile walk that the family had completed (Jackie and JFK only participated partially) in Palm Beach. The inscription on the caseback reads “Stas to Jackie / 23 Feb. 63 / 2:05 AM to 9:35 PM,” in script. 

The First Lady only partially completed the “Get out and exercise America!” walk, yet the watch lists its entire duration? Live and learn. And here’s the pitch:

History of Watches: 1700 to Now from CE Online Courses on Vimeo.

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