14.07.2015 - Cartier

A look at the 2015 Men’s “Cartier Crash Skeleton” Watch

Back in 2012, Cartier decided to re-launch the “Crash” collection for women. This oddly shaped, interesting, timepiece has just been released for men, and is bound to become a fascinating collector’s piece. Despite the unique appearance of the watch, and the huge price of £50,000, the actual origins of the watch are far more intriguing.

According to Cartier, the crash collection stemmed from the 1960’s ‘Swinging London’ – a period of Cultural Revolution. There are also comparisons to a Salvador Dali paining “The Persistence of Memory.” Whilst to a certain extent true, the real reason is a lot more eerie.

The story goes that a vice president for Cartier was involved in a fatal car crash in 60s London. The melted effect of the “crash” watch is no accident, as a deformed “Baignoire Allongée” watch was all that was left of the vice president after the flames engulfed him. It was reportedly sent back to Cartier, who thought the watch design was actually inspiring, and would be a fitting tribute to their deceased colleague. Thus the “Crash” was born.

The 2015 version of the “Crash” was designed for men, and as a result created with a larger case of 28.15mm wide and 45mm tall. The case is made of platinum (along with the crown), and has been equipped with a skeleton movement. The density of the platinum gives the watch some weight, however it seems a lot smaller that it is due to the grey alligator strap being narrow. Only 67 of these pieces will be made in platinum, with another 67 being produced in platinum with diamonds on the bezel.     

The shape of the watch naturally caused some production complications. Firstly, the case was difficult to create due to the unique curvature and the fact that it is platinum, so it took around 10 times the amount of time, as it would have if it were gold. The movement was also as challenging to develop and manufacture, as it had to fit into an asymmetric shape.

This re-imagination of the “Crash” is the first of many to come from Cartier, who are set to bring out more limited edition pieces every year or two from their vast archives.





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