Most people have heard of the Paris-Dakar Rally, the gruelling motorsport event that began in 1979 as a 6,200 mile race from France to Senegal via the Sahara desert – but who can remember the Cartier Challenge?
The world’s toughest off-road competition and the high-end jeweller may seem worlds apart, but they came together 39 years ago in an unlikely collaboration to be remembered in the sale of a unique wristwatch that is now tipped to fetch as much as €400,000 at auction.
The story dates back to the start of the fifth Paris-Dakar in 1983, when the then Cartier CEO Alain Dominique Perrin approached the event’s founder Thierry Sabine with the idea of offering a glittering prize to anyone who could achieve what both men considered impossible: to win the Paris-Dakar two years in succession using the same category of vehicle.
But the pair had not counted on the remarkable talent and superhuman endurance of diminutive Belgian motorcycle racer Gaston Rahier, the triple 125cc motocross world champion who, after giving up scrambling, became a BMW-mounted rally raid superstar.
No sooner had the Cartier Challenge been announced than Mr Rahier clinched victory in the 1984 event, and proceeded to follow it up with a win in 1985 – thus meeting the requirements of ‘the challenge’. His prize was the decidedly, er, unusual ‘Cheich’ watch. This incredibly rare timepiece remained with Rahier until his death in early 2005, it will be offered for sale direct from his family at Sotheby’s Paris in September.
Inspired by the rally’s logo – the silhouetted face of a Tuareg tribesman wearing the traditional cotton head protector known as a ‘cheich’ – the watch is forged from three colours of 18 carat gold (white, rose and yellow) to create a monumental case that meticulously replicates every one of the garment’s soft folds.
Nestled within them is a typical Cartier dress watch dial with a rectangular central minutes track, hour markers in the form of a combination of batons and Roman numerals and a winding crown set with the maker’s signature blue cabochon.
Such is the design of the case that conventional lugs could not be used – instead, the leather band passes ‘invisibly’ through the back. As well as that original strap, the watch is also accompanied by the bespoke case in which it was presented to Mr Rahier, the lid of which carries the legend ‘Trophee Paris Alger Dakar’ in gold script.
Only three Cartier Cheich watches are known to have been created: the one awarded to Mr Rahier; another for a potential woman winner and a third made in 1985 for anyone else who achieved the necessary ‘double’.
In the event, the Cartier Challenge came to an end almost as quickly as it had begun due to the sudden death of Thierry Sabine in a helicopter crash in january of 1986, that was caused by a sandstorm towards the end of the event.
The other two examples of the Cheich remain in French Maison’s historic collection and will never be sold – meaning that the sale of Mr Rahier’s, the only one ever to have been awarded, is likely to represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Gaston Rahier’s Cartier Cheich Watch is slated to cross the auction block at Sotheby’s upcoming Fine Watches Sale in Paris beginning September 16, 2022. If recent sales of vintage Cartier watches are anything to go by, however, potential buyers will need deep pockets – in May, online auction site Loupe This sold a 1967 ‘Crash’ model for $1.65m.
But while no more than a couple of dozen examples of the original Crash are thought to have been made, it is positively commonplace compared with the Cheich. So those with ‘only’ Euros 400,000 to spend may be left wanting. I wish I was rich and not so handsome.
The Gaston Rahier Cartier Cheich goes on show to the public for the first time this week at Sotheby’s Monaco gallery, 20, Avenue de la Costa. It can be seen there until July 17.
Chitose Abe, the designer of Sacai, and French Maison Cartier have come together to collaborate on the jewellery brand’s iconic Trinity collection. Comprising of six new limited-edition pieces, the collaboration gives a twist to the timeless masterpiece.
Cartier has invited Chitose Abe of Sacai to reimagine its iconic Trinity ring. The collection of six limited edition pieces, brings together one of fashion’s most prolific collaborators – Nike and Dior Men number among Abe’s highest profile hook-ups – with a jeweler who has rarely, if ever, invited clothing designers into its atelier. Abe wears an armful of Cartier bangles – a Love bracelet with diamonds and the nut-and-bolt Écrou de Cartier, included – but it’s her design process of “turning the familiar into something new” that makes her such an inspired partner for the historic jeweler.
Known for her experimental designs, Abe is known for her experimental style, amalgamating high fashion and athleticwear silhouettes into one. Similarly, Abe’s interpretation of Cartier’s Trinity collection is based on the same concept of individuality and multi-functionality. In Abe’s re-imagination of the icon, two of the original intertwined bands are now extended so that the bands can be worn over multiple fingers.
Abe exolains the design intent behind the rethink of the Trinity ring, “It goes back to the idea of my clothes. There are many different ways to wear them. I wanted to apply that theory to the design of Trinity – the individuality in how to wear the piece”.
Though almost a century old, the Trinity collection’s legacy has not been lost with time and today, remains one of the maison’s signature items.
Conceived by Louis Cartier in 1924 at the request of French polymath Jean Cocteau, the creation of the minimalistic piece was a bold deviation from the usual overly embellished pieces of the Art Deco era. To conceive something as simple as the Trinity ring, devoid of any embellishments was simply absurd and out of character.
When the Trinity ring was introduced in 1924 it was downright radical. “It was daring for a house like Cartier, well known to supply all the kings and queens and aristocrats of the entire world, to propose such a simple object, so intimate in the lives of our clients,” Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s director of image, style, and heritage, said. “That it could be worn by both men and women, by different generations, the young and also more mature, was something very interesting for the 1920s”.
Looking back, the contemporary masterpiece was ahead of its time. Comprising of three interlaced bands of yellow, grey and rose gold, the ring has become a symbol of elegance in the world of fine luxury and has also inspired a whole collection of jewellery, all of which make use of the same interwoven bands.
The ring’s persisting popularity through the decades is not only due to its magnificent design, but also to its powerful symbolism. From an emblem of steadfast friendship or a profession of everlasting love – almost a century after its creation, its charm continues to hold strong.
A new fragrance that is a real explosion of life! Created by perfumer Mathilde Laurent, this new version displays a second nature of the fragrance, characterized by intense vegetable notes of great vitality.
Launched in 1998, Déclaration Eau de Toilette is one of the house’s most iconic men’s fragrances and a classic in Cartier’s scent line. Now, this new version of you, the Déclaration Haute Fraîcheur, becomes a shareable perfume.
This new variation shows us a second nature as vegetal as it is alive. It enriches the palette with this spicy and woody trail, emblematic and elegant, known for its olfactory intensity. Giving new vivacity to the original ingredients of Declaration Eau de Toilette, it makes them bloom like a new spring: the cedar is filled with sap , the spices are fresher, the citrus leaves greener and more tender… an explosion of life! and grey, tailored to the measure of this trail of elegance.
The beauty and simplicity of its freshness are reflected in the color of the new flacon, green with shades of blue and grey, marrying perfectly with this elegant perfume.
This fresh elegant Eau de Toilette with playful lemon leaves and seductive cardamom makes everyone’s heart beat faster… Déclaration Haute Fraîcheur is available as 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette at selected stores worldwide. Come into the beautiful world of Cartier.
Cartier boutiques welcome the festive season with enticing new facades – their glowing lights and signature red ribbons watched over by the emblematic panther.
Across the globe, from Paris, London, Milan and Luxembourg, from Australia, China and Japan to the Maison’s home in New York, Cartier boutiques celebrate the festive season with welcoming facades – their glowing lights and signature red ribbons watched over by the emblematic panther.
Looking for that special timeless gift, Cartier love is all. Cartier watches, jewels, accessories and home decoration are available at Cartier boutiques and selected stores worldwide. Come into the beautiful world of Cartier.
French Maison Cartier is pleased to share that the Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris will host a new exhibition ‘Cartier and Islamic Art In Search of Modernity’, from 21 October 2021 to 20th February 2022.
This exceptional new exhibition aims to highlight the influence of Islamic Art on the Maison’s design, from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. More than 500 pieces – including jewellery, masterpieces of Islamic art, and archival documents – trace the origins of the Maison’s interest in eastern motifs.
French Maison Cartier is pleased to share that a number of their creations by Jeanne Toussaint will be featured at the Vitra Design Museum’s ‘Women in Design’ exhibition from 23rd September, in recognition of her significant contribution to the development of modern design.
French Maison Cartier has unveiled two new models of its Double C de Cartier bag, which was first introduced back in March. From the initial drawing to the final collection, the Double C de Cartier bag has been designed and created in the Maison’s ateliers with the jeweler’s exacting eye for beauty and detail.
Crafted from calfskin, the silhouette has been revamped with a stunning jewelry chain, giving it an overall sophisticated and luxe look. Elsewhere, the piece features the Maison’s iconic metal C emblem complemented by a delicate touch of lacquer.
The Double C de Cartier bag collection is releasing two new models and an array of refreshing, new colours. While the Double C de Cartier bag is star in its own right, the jewellery chain adds a sophisticated sparkle that helps it gleam even brighter.
Depending on the look in mind, you can slip it over your shoulders or go casual by flaunting it across the body. While we are on the subject of precious enhancements, the jewelled clasp of Cartier’s initials truly sets an eye-catching tone.
Seen on the Grande Maison bag is a metal logo enhanced by a delicate touch of tone-on-tone lacquer in hues matching the smooth leather that shines, just the right amount, to enliven the silhouette. The bags can be personalised with initials or a date hot-stamped in gold foil or engraved on the interior mirror.
The signature enameled lock is showcased against the clean lines of the silhouette. Its Double C shape, inspired by the Cartier monogram, shines with a touch of lacquer that mirrors the rich, feminine color palette of the collection.
The spectacular Cartier Double C de Cartier bag impresses in two practical sizes such as the mini model (available in five colours) and the small model, available in red and black. The mini models certainly attract special attention owing to its amazing assortment of hues such as ‘Capri Blue’ and ‘Mint Green’, ‘Powder Pink’ and ‘Cherry Red”, and ‘Deep Black’.
For the fashionista who just can’t get enough of this lovely new offering from the French luxury brands latest offering can also opt for matching small leather goods, which you can customize with initials or a date heated in gold foil or inscribed on the mirror.
The Cartier Double C de Cartier bag is available at Cartier boutiques and selected stores worldwide. Come into the beautiful world of Cartier.
From May 19 to January 16, 2022, the V&A museum is reopening ‘Bags: Inside Out’, an exhibition exploring the style, function, design and craftsmanship of the ultimate accessory for women. A selection of Cartier Collection bags and accessories, as well as archived documents illustrating the richness of the Maison’s production, will be on display.
Victoria & Albert Museum Cromwell Road London SW7 2RL
Cartier is the ‘jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers’, so declared Edward VII – and it’s an epithet that has endured. Supplying ineffably luxurious treasures since 1847, the Parisian jeweller was founded by Louis-François Cartier, though it was his grandchildren Louis, Pierre and Jacques who transformed Cartier from a boutique into a globally renowned name.
The Maison pioneered platinum as a setting in the 1860s, and ground-breaking expertise was not restricted to jewellery alone; Cartier’s history of haute horlogerie plots an evolution from the jewellery watches of the 19th century to contemporary wrist watches, establishing iconic codes that remain at the heart of Cartier timepieces to this day.
Since 1880, Cartier was intrigued by the concept of everyday objects, including their earliest fragrance flacons and powder compacts, to stationery and inkwells, which were actually given their very own dedicated exhibition at Cartier New York. By the time the 1930s came around Louis Cartier founded the ‘S for Silver’ department with the intention of creating luxury gifts and objects like vases, teapots and teacaddies, lighters, belts, and pocket watches.
The eternally glamorous Jeanne Toussaint garnered the pet name La Panthère thanks to her collection of furs.
Fast forward to 2020, and the Maison has launch such darling everyday accessories which respond to the desire to bring joy to yourself and others. Panthère de Cartier. A collections to bring beauty into your life. From practical to playful, delicate to portable, suitable and linked by their emblematic codes. Cartier’s art de vivre resounds from its home and lifestyle pieces.
The emblematic panther has embodied Cartier’s creation ever since its first appearance on a watch with panther spots in 1914. She graduated from abstract to figurative representation three years later when she was depicted flanked by cypress trees on a nécessaire gifted by Louis Cartier to Jeanne Toussaint in 1917. In 1988 it decorated the first Cartier Limoges La Maison Collection – the new collection fits perfect with it.
Becoming a Maison legend, this motif runs throughout a contrasting collection of white, black, green and red. Limoges porcelain objects, trinket tray, solitaire board, vase or paper objects, notebook, stationery, and finally a cashmere blanket. Lift the lid on the lauded red box to uncover a new heirloom, whether sparkling with diamonds or shining in solid gold.
Cartier Limoges Panthère de Cartier Tea Box
The Panthère de Cartier collection presents an array of refined pieces to decorate your interior in true Cartier style. The porcelain tea box is a perfect example of the iconic Panthère’s migration from the jewellery sphere into a more domesticated realm, presenting an elegant porcelain silhouette that serves as an ornate home for the wild motif. H.14.5cm x W.10cm approx.
Cartier LimogesPanthère de Cartier Vase
Panthère prowls across this handpainted porcelain vase with the same striking presence. Depicted in the black and gold colourway that was selected for the motif’s debut, it carries the rich history of the Maison’s archives into your home, instantly commanding your tabletop or mantlepiece. H.22cm x W.9cm approx.
Cartier Limoges Panthère de Cartier Pencil Holder
Standing poised on your desk, this Cartier Panthère de Cartier pencil holder is a beacon of the Maison’s resounding elegance. Its pristine hand-painted Limoges porcelain body is detailed with the Maison’s hallmark feline, showcasing its tempered prowl across a minimalist canvas. Store fine stationary or other belongings in this petite design and simultaneously elevate your workspace with the Maison’s luxurious style. H.10.5cm x D.9cm approx.
Cartier LimogesPanthère de Cartier Trinket
Artistic director Jeanne Toussaint’s glamorous style was an amalgamation of Chinese, Indian and Persian influences through the lens of her own Parisian heritage, leading to the conception of one of Cartier’s most-famed emblems – the Panthère. This striking feline has remained present in the label’s collections for decades and is seen adorning this trinket tray in the same defiant colourway that was selected on its debut. H 9.5cm x W.21.5cm x D.2.5cm approx.
Cartier Limoges Panthère de Cartier Trinket Tray
Appointed Cartier’s artistic director of high jewellery in 1933, Jeanne Toussaint conceptualised striking designs that remain iconic to this day. The Panthère became her fingerprint and remains a pillar of the brand’s style. This porcelain trinket tray is adorned with the signature feline motif and serves as the ideal resting place for your own prized Panthère accessories. H.17cm x W.17cm x D.3cm approx.
Cartier Limoges Panthère de Cartier Trinket Trays (Set of 4)
For loyalists dripping in Cartier jewels, this set of four trinket trays offers multiple surfaces to rest your off-duty accessories. Each design is crafted from pristine porcelain and showcases the roaming Panthère motif, channelling every ounce of elegance possessed by its fine jewellery relations. H.8cm x W.8cm x D.2cm approx.
Cartier Panthère de Cartier Box – medium
The eternally glamorous Jeanne Toussaint garnered the pet name ‘La Panthère’ from her then lover Louis Cartier thanks to her vast collection of furs. You can mimic the Parisian icon’s tastefully spotted abode with the addition of this white lacquered wood Panthère de Cartier box to your interior.
Whether it’s sat contently upon your dressing table or on your mantlepiece for all to see, this design captivates its beholder with the Maison’s unequivocal elegance. An immaculate resting place for your prized Panthère rings? The Cartier Panthère de Cartier Box is available in three sizes (with different decoration), W.21.5cm x L.9.5cm x H.6cm (large), W.16cm x L.7cm x H.4.5cm (medium – shown), and L.12cm x H.5.5cm x D.3.5cm (small).
Cartier Panthère de Cartier Stationary Box Set
Cartier presents the Panthère de Cartier stationary box set to keep your correspondence in order. Known for its Parisian elegance, the label showcases a pristine box in lacquered wood that acts as a pedestal for its unrivalled Panthère emblem. It holds ample potential as a decorative piece, as well as storing fifteen signature cards and envelops for contacting loved ones by hand.
Includes stationary box, 15 greetings cards, 15 envelopes H14.5cm x W19cm x D6cm approx. Every card and its corresponding envelope is crafted from paper that’s sourced from a sustainably managed forest.
Cartier Panthère de Cartier Cards and Envelopes
Whatever your message, scribing onto these Cartier cards ensures your words are received with the utmost attention. The iconic Panthère is seen prowling at the corner of each card, instilling a simple invitation or a special heartfelt letter with the brand’s unwavering elegance. 17cm x W.12cm approx. Every card and its corresponding envelope is crafted from paper that’s sourced from a sustainably managed forest.
Cartier Panthère de Cartier A5 Notebook
Cartier thrives on creativity and passion, and the Panthère de Cartier notebook offers up the perfect canvas for your own ideas to expand. Its A5 stature is crafted using solely responsibly sourced paper, with 180 pages to fill with quick jottings or deeply thought-out plans. The Panthère emblem resides on the cover, presented with impactful minimalism.
The Panthère de Cartier A5 Notebook is crafted from paper that’s sourced from a sustainably managed forest. L.21cm x W.15cm approx.
Cartier Panthère de CartierMerino Wool-Cashmere Throw
As animal prints rise in popularity across homeware, Cartier presents its luxury take on the trend with this merino wool-cashmere throw. Spotlighting muted tones, it makes a subtly glamorous addition to your living area, whether you choose to drape it over the arm of your sofa or leave it at the foot of the guest bed.
190cm x 140cm approx. With 90% Merino and 10% Cashmere, it is impossibly soft. This is a wintry bedding must-have.
Yes, the year might have been apocalyptic, to say the least, but the launch of this collection certainly brings us that bit of joy, and something to look forward to in such unprecedented times, don’t you think? Let’s make this Christmas the most wonderful time of the year once again, and look forward to gifting these items to your loved ones, or even pampering yourselves with (because self-love always comes first ;))
The Panthère de Cartier collection is available at Cartier boutiques and selected stores worldwide. Come into the beautiful and precious world of Cartier.
French Maison Cartier is pleased to announce Khatia Buniatishvili, renowned French-Georgian pianist, as a new ambassador of the Maison. Extraordinary talent, open mindedness, piercing intellect and unfaltering involvement in contemporary issues, Khatia embodies the values cherished by Cartier.
Khatia expresses the essence of who we are. Pure simplicity and expressive romanticism. Delicate exuberance. Unique and universal. Plural singularity. Body and soul, with measure and unbridled energy Khatia embarks us into the dizzying exploration of human emotions and passion.
Cyrille Vigneron, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cartier International.
In the continuity of the Maison’s commitments towards art and culture, Cartier is proud to be associated with one of today’s most prominent classical artists. Come into the beautiful world of Cartier.