Cartier’s Crash is back in the news with its mysterious origin story, glamorous lineage and groundbreaking auction results.
Cartier’s Maison des Métiers d’Art elevates the iconic Crash by enhancing its irregular shape with wild feline stripes, a powerful symbol for Cartier.
How did this oddly shaped Cartier watch come to be? One theory posits that the watch is an homage to Salvador Dalí’s 1931 melting-clock masterpiece, “The Persistence of Memory.” A more widely held belief is that an oval-shaped Cartier Baignoire was crushed in a car accident, then brought in for repairs, inspiring the design and name of the Crash. No one is quite sure, but the mystery only adds to the Crash’s allure.
Recent auction results for fine examples of the Crash have hit astronomical highs. An early 1967 Cartier London example reached $1.65 million on May 5, nearly double the previous auction record. Attention and demand are only heating up, with celebrities like Kanye, Tyler, the Creator and JAY-Z sporting the Crash in public.
For 2022, Cartier’s master artisans of the Maison des Métiers d’Art revisited the amorphous icon to spectacular effect. In various shades of blue and green, the Crash Tigrée requires several enameling techniques; the colors combine with yellow gold and diamonds arranged to resemble tiger stripes in a breathtaking numbered edition of 50 pieces.