Exlusive: Cartier crashes party

Transparent creativity

Cartier’s newest watch range, to be launched in January, includes a radical reinterpretation of the brand’s famous Crash watch of 1967.

For much of its history Cartier has used fine internals from the likes of Jaeger-LeCoultre and Piaget in its timepieces, but in the past half dozen years it has invested millions in designing and manufacturing its own movements.

And some movements they are – incredible complications featuring technical breakthroughs dreamt up by their visionary director of movement development, Carole Forestier-Karpasi.

The watch revealed exclusively here is a skeletonised reinterpretation of Cartier’s 1967 Crash watch. It’s  about 10 percent larger than the original and will be officially launched – along with other new models – at the Geneva SIHH watch fair. The range illustrates Cartier’s thinking that the workings of a watch of this caliber should not be hidden, but rather should be the focus of attention and design.

In the case of the Crash watch, that movement, caliber 9618 MC, is a two-barrel manual wind affair, shaped to match the irregular case; it “peeps” through Cartier’s traditional numerals, here sculpted to within a millimeter. They serve double duty, spelling out the hours, and anchoring the movement.

Presented in platinum with a grey-hued alligator strap tailored to the case, the Crash is 28.5mm by 45.32mm, not overly huge, but don’t think it won’t be noticed – to quote Cartier, it’s a watch that reeks “controlled extravagance.”

And the price? Indications are in the Euro €50,000 region ($73,000), or €85,000 for a full-set diamond version.

watch-next editor Bani McSpedden with Carole Forestier- Karpasi
watch-next editor Bani McSpedden with Carole Forestier- Karpasi
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