Christie’s Geneva will auction off 101 unique Cartier clocks


I love table clocks, especially those who are made by French Maisons, like Cartier. Horology and art deco enthusiasts will be delighted to learn that Christie’s Geneva will be hosting an auction for 101 rare clocks from French Maison Cartier this summer. I wish I was rich, and not so pretty…..

Long before it created the Santos wristwatch in 1904 and became the jeweler of choice for the Duchess of Windsor, Nina Dyer, and many celebs, Cartier carved out a reputation as a master of decorative desk clocks. Christie’s upcoming sale of 101 Cartier clocks demonstrates the French Maison’s considerable skills in the arts of enameling, engraving, gem setting and marquetry—all on a canvas much larger than the watch dial.


Christies-Geneva-Cartier-Art-Deco-Onyx-Enamel-and-Ruby-Mignonettte-ClockCartier Art Deco Onyx Enamel and Ruby Mignonettte Clock



Cartier Art Deco Enamel and Gold Altar Clock 

The collection highlights the French brand’s innovative and painstakingly intricate approach to clockmaking, featuring an immense amount of timekeepers designed in all fashions imaginable. Some of its most complex pieces – known as ‘mystery’ clocks, which carry hands that are suspended in a transparent rock crystal pane seemingly disconnected to any mechanism – also form part of the auction.

Other notable lots include a carved onyx model with a mother of pearl dial and diamond accents from 1925, an Oriental enamel clock intricately decorated through a technique called laque burgauté where insets of polished blue-green abalone shells are made, as well as an early 20th century deep blue opaline glass, silver and enamel urn clock.


Christies-Geneve-Art-Deco-Mother-Of-Pearl-Onyx-Jade,-And-Enamel-Desk-ClockCartier Art Deco, Mother-Of-Pearl, Onyx, Jade, And Enamel Desk Clock



Cartier Art Deco Rock Crystal, Enamel and Diamond Clock



Cartier Art Deco Mother-of-Pearl, Enamel, Turquoise, Moonstone and Diamond Clock by Maurice Coüet


Christies-Geneva-Cartier-Belle-Epoque-Enamel-Agate-Moonstone-and-Diamond-Minute-Repeater-Clock-by-Maurice-CoüetCartier Belle Epoque Enamel, Agate, Moonstone and Diamond Minute Repeater Clock by Maurice Coüet

The auction itself will take place at Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues on July 1, with viewings available from June 27 through to 30. For more information or to view the full collection, visit the official Christie’s website here.

Come into the beautiful woorld of Cartier.




Cartier brings back its barrel-shaped Tonneau timepieces


Tonneau – the French word for Barrel – proved to be a very popular case shape for Cartier that became prominent during the Art-Déco era. The exceptional form of the watch perfectly captured the spirit of the times and evidently corresponded to the geometric and lavish preferences of the time. Today, almost a century following the initial presentation of the watch, the Tonneau shape is still a classic form in watchmaking.

The first Tonneau timepiece was presented by Cartier in 1906 – just a short two years after the Santos was introduced. The Tonneau was the very first Cartier wristwatch for men, but the luxury French Maison soon began to manufacture this iconic shaped timepiece for women as well. Whether it is a men’s watch or a ladies’ watch, the exclusive Tonneau lends a touch of class to any wrist.

Distinct case shapes and Cartier have gone hand-in-hand since the iconic French brand started its work in watchmaking. For 2019, the Grande Maison returns to the historic tonneau in four executions.

Over time, Cartier presented variations of the Tonneau model. The basic barrel shape of the watch remained consistent among the design elements of different Tonneau models, as the watches can often appear quite different.

Today, the original Tonneau models belong to Cartier’s rare vintage watches. They also comprise a very important chapter in Cartier history. The world jeweller can look back on great accomplishments including opening boutiques overseas, introducing the first men’s wristwatches, and acquiring prestigious customers on a global scale. But among all the accomplishments of the luxurious watchmakers, the world jeweller can proudly look back to the successful period in history in which the classic and exquisite Tonneau was presented to the world.


Cartier Privé Tonneau Collection

The pre-SIHH press releases have started to trickle in, signaling the start of a new year in the watch world and while some brands may choose to tease more uncomplicated pieces, saving prized ones for the fair, Cartier went straight to the main course – unveiling a new case shape to add to the collection.

At the upcoming SIHH watch salon in Geneva, the French master jeweler and watch design pioneer revives another early 20th-century shaped model that went on to become hugely influential, its 1906 Tonneau, in the Cartier Privé line.

It’s been a grand 112 years since Cartier launched the Tonneau watch back in 1906 and it seems the time is ripe to bring the shape back. Tonneau, a French term for barrel, was used to describe the striking shape that stood out amongst the simple, round cases of the time. Neither a rectangle nor an oval, the tonneau is an amalgamation of both rather, with the case curving ever so slightly. When it was presented, Cartier coated the watch in platinum, for emphasis on its ‘avant-garde aesthetics’.


Cartier Privé Tonneau in Platinum

Celebrating that legacy this year, Cartier will be showing two time-only versions, one limited to 100 pieces in platinum paying homage to the first Tonneau, and another in rose gold.

The winding crown is topped off with a cabochon in classic Cartier style. The dial – Champagne-colored on the rose-gold watch, silvered on the platinum – features polished, rhodium-plated applied Roman numerals and a vintage-style railtrack minutes scale.

While the watches may be steeped in early 20th-century aesthetics, rest assured that Cartier has updated the pieces to be ready for the 22nd century. Besides the Roman numerals, a minute track further towards the middle of the dial, and a cabochon on the winding crown – the quintessential Cartier look – the pair of watches see the new handwound Caliber 1917 MC powering them, with a 38 hour power reserve.


Cartier Privé Tonneau in Rose Gold

If shapes were Cartier’s forte in casemaking, then skeletonisation was where Cartier made its mark in the art of movement-production. The Maison’s ability in paring movements down to its bare minimum has always been a skill it’s cherished and this year, the Tonneau is getting the skeleton treatment.

In a different sizing, Cartier shows both form and function on the new Tonneau XL Dual Time, taking cues from a vintage Cartier Tonneau. While the older model that the watch is based on used two small and separate calibres to tell the time between the two zones, the modern day iteration sees a singular movement, the 9919 MC calibre.


The case has wrist-hugging curves and the iconic cabochon-set crown.

Running the entire geartrain in a single line so as to forgo a messier movement architecture and retain the elongated form, the watch is reminiscent of other linear movements such as Corum’s Bridge calibres. With a case as complex to build as the Tonneau’s. given that there’s a slight curvature to fit the wrist better, the movement was modified to follow the same dimensions.

For both the platinum and pink gold versions, the Tonneau XL Dual Time Skeleton is just one of the many illustrious examples of Cartier’s Fine Watchmaking Department’s expertise over the years. It’s may be a simple question – what can be achieved aesthetically by pushing watchmaking – but Cartier’s answer is anything but.


The movement in the Cartier Privé Tonneau Skeleton Dual Time Zone has a vertically aligned gear train.

Two skeletonised dual time watches are being introduced in larger 37.8mm x 24mm cases housing the hand wound calibre 9919 MC movement. Both platinum and pink gold versions are limited to 100 pieces, while an additional 20 numbered pieces will be available in baguette-cut diamond-set platinum.

This calibre 9919 MC movement represents a technical achievement in several respects, with its linear-oriented gear train, with wheels aligned between 5 and 12 o’clock, designed to maintain the integrity of the case shape; the curved contours of the movement itself; and the angled cutting on the gear train’s barrel and escapement wheel.

Fully wound, Caliber 9919 MC (the initials are for ‘Manufacture Cartier’) amasses a power reserve of 60 hours.


The Cartier Privé Tonneau Skeleton Dual Time Zone in rose gold.

Prices for the new Cartier Privé Tonneau collection will be announced at SIHH 2019. Come into the wonderful world of Cartier.






Art Deco Desk Clock by Cartier


The Cartier tradition of clock and watch making extends almost as far back as the founding of the company. In 1898, Louis Cartier, one of the three Cartier brothers and grandson of founder Louis-François, moved to 13 rue de La Paix with his father, Alfred. Louis was a talented creator of jewels and art objects, and confirmed his talent by tying his craft with clock making traditions, lost now for more than a century.

Thereafter, Cartier’s clocks, table clocks, and watches were manufactured with an emphasis on perfection, beauty and originality. Clock making, at first a secondary activity, became the predominant activity and prestige of Cartier.





This elegant Art Deco-period desk clock by Cartier features a soft blue guilloché enamel and gold frame. With Roman numerals marking the hours, the dial’s radiant guilloché pattern is well-complemented by hands studded with fine white diamonds. An outstanding example of 1920s design, this remarkable timepiece comes with its original red leather case, excellent condition.

H 6.35 cm x W 6.35 cm x D 2.54 cm






Art Deco 1930's Cartier La Captive Silver Enamel Travel Purse Watch

A beautiful Cartier ‘La Captive’ Swiss attractive Art Deco silver enamel travel, puse watch in fair condition, owned by Begum Andrée Aga Khan. It is known that Cartier commissiond Tavannes as the maker, considering the succes of the ‘La Captive’ series, commissioned by many other famous boutiques and famous fashion houses. The watch has been manufactured around 1930’s.

The watch has a lovely, nickel finish movement in working condition and a winding mechanism through the crown at twelve. The watch is crown wound and set.

Art Deco 1930's Cartier La Captive Silver Enamel Travel Purse Watch

Art Deco 1930’s Cartier La Captive Silver Enamel Travel Purse Watch, owned by HH the Begum Andrée Aga Khan

Art Deco 1930's Cartier La Captive Silver Enamel Travel Purse Watch

Art Deco 1930’s Cartier La Captive Silver Enamel Travel Purse Watch, Inside case shows a Patent Pending mark. Case serial number: 24643. Watch case serial number: 6953.

Art Deco 1930's Cartier La Captive Silver Enamel Travel Purse Watch

Art Deco 1930’s Cartier La Captive Silver Enamel Travel Purse Watch, When the watch is folded, the case size is ~46 x 25 x 8 mm. When the watch case is upend, the size is ~40 x 25 x 20 mm . The total weight of the watch is ~38.33 grams.

The watch is folding into the lovely opaque enamel decorated case. It is released when the two red enamel inlay side buttons are pressed and turned face down.

The white rectangular dial is in good condition, with minor signs of aging. The dial features black Arabic numerals and blue Breguet hands set, while the crystal is in great condition.

The case opens and closes nicely, the trap door hinges being in good condition. The case enamel shows various signs of wear, cracks, hairlines or chips and other marks from general use and opening, however it remains in a good original condition.




Cartier Gold Table Clock

Cartier Art Deco Table Clock Yellow Gold

Cartier Art Deco Yellow Gold Table Clock (Click photo to enlarge).

I lòve watches, and I lòve clocks… those litte tiny French desk or table clocks. Regular visitors of Yakymour see them sometimes as background decoration in different posts. This Cartier Art Deco clock is made of 18k solid yellow gold, with a luminous dial for reading any time. The hands look to have been retouched, but the package includes the original fitted leather presentation box or foudral. The 5 day movement inside was made by Lemania, who was making mechanical movements for a lot of top watchmakers at the time.

by Jean Amr

Amazing: Cartier, Art Deco Rock Crystal, Platinum, White Enamel and Diamond Table Clock

People who know me, know that I have a (total) weakness for desk or table clocks! Especially those from the French jewelery houses like Boucheron, Chaumet, Van Cleef & Arpels, Mauboussin and…of cours: Cartier. Two years ago from now, there was one very nice example for aution then. A Cartier, France, Art Deco rock crystal, white enamel platinum and diamond table clock from circa 1920.

Cartier Art Deco Clock

Cartier, France, Art Deco table clock, circa 1920

This Cartier Art Deco pendulette is made of rock crystal and platinum. The milestone-shaped rock crystal clock centering a circular silver-tone engine-turned dial, with black Roman numerals and railroad minute track, with delicate platinum rose-cut diamond-set hands, encircled by a white enamel and gold bezel, accented by two diamond-set platinum florets. The dial signed Cartier, France (case no. 01041). The round 8-day movement is signed  ‘Made by Couet’, With signed fitted box.

3 1/4 x 2 11/16 x 5/16 inches.

It was estimate for $8,000-12,000 but it despite the original rock crystal easel was replaced with plexiglass, and the clock was not running, it was sold for $28,125 (includes Buyer’s Premium)! No, it’s not in my collection. It was far above my budget. But ohh so mouth watering beautiful….





The Begum by Charles Kiffer (1902 – 1992)

Charles Kiffer grew up in an artistic environment. His father had as a tailor, many famous artists as customer. His mother was a piano teacher. As a child he made drawings and caricatures of the friends and acquaintances of his parents. In 1918, Kiffer admitted to the École Supérieure des Beaux Artes, where he focused on painting. A drawing he made of Maurice Chevalier went so well, that he was commissioned to create posters for his shows. Kiffer was apart from painter and designer of posters also an accomplished graphic artist. From 1929 he produced his own lithographs.

Charles Kiffer

Begum Andrée Joséphine Carron Aga Khan by Charles Kiffer, Cartier Art Deco pendulettes (from privat collection), flowers from Bloom Flower Studio

Maurice Chevalier continued to remain faithful to him, and gave him his ’till the 1960’s commands for posters. Also many other greats knew where to find Kiffer, Brigit Bardot, Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, George Guétary, Charles Trenet, Josephine Baker, Andrée Joséphine Carron Aga Khan, Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan, Gilbert Bécaud and Marcel Marceau – There was almost no French celebrity who does not accept to be immortalized by Charles Kiffer, during his long life. Charles Kiffer died on 20 January 1992 in Paris.