101 CARTIER CLOCKS Geneva
Christie’s Geneva will be presenting a unique collection of 101 Cartier Clocks spanning more than 80 years of clockmaking at Cartier.
This collection was created over a period of 30 years, with every clock receiving their rightful place in this once in a lifetime collection. The pre-sale estimate for the entire collection is CHF 3.9 million to CHF 5.7 million, with individual estimates starting at CHF 8,000. The auction will take place on 1st July at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the relationship between Louis Cartier and master clockmaker Maurice Coüet helped to cement Cartier’s reputation as the leading manufacturer of jewelled objects. Coüet was inspired by the magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin — considered by many as the father of modern conjuring — and incorporated the most technologically advanced mechanisms into his designs, creating works that continue to fascinate and entertain today. Best known for his pendules mystérieuses, or ‘Mystery’ clocks, with their mechanisms hidden in the frame, Coüet astonished the industry with his use of illusion. In 1973 the Maison acquired one of these marvelous clocks from the art market, a pioneering move which gave birth to what would become known as the Cartier Collection. Today the Collection is comprised of more than 1,600 pieces of jewellery, watches, clocks, and precious objects, and gives the world’s most renowned museums the opportunity to celebrate Cartier creations by featuring them in major exhibitions.
The first planet clocks were made in 1912, constituting round or angular cases with two superimposed dials. The lower dials would usually be crafted from light or dark blue enamel and constantly rotate to represent a day or night sky. Sometimes, a crescent moon in diamonds served as an indicator to the hours at night. The other model that year featured a central disc with a comet that rotated within the dial, while the minutes were read off a pointer that circled along a concentric ring.
The auction will offer two such examples: lot 11 a semi-mystery clock, circa 1920 (estimate CHF70,000-100,000/US$75,000-110,000) and lot 42 a planet semi-mystery clock, circa 1918, maker Maurice Coüet (estimate: CHF120,000-180,000 US$130,000-190,000).
Another very nice example states the obvious: “I do not count the hours, if they are not brilliant”, made in 1913 (estimate: 140,000-200,000/illustrated o page 1 under headline 3rd from left).
CAPTIONS from left to right
BELLE EPOQUE ENAMEL AND DIAMOND CLOCK, CARTIER Pink opalescent guilloché enamel, rose-cut diamonds, black enamel, silver and gold, 1911, mechanical movement, 8.5×1.3 cm, signed Cartier Paris, maker’s mark (Eugène Bako), no. 396, brown Cartier original fitted case Estimate CHF 60,000-80,000
ART DECO ROCK CRYSTAL, ENAMEL, DIAMOND AND ONYX CLOCK, CARTIER Blue guilloché enamel, white enamel, rose-cut diamonds, onyx, rock crystal panel, silver and gold, circa 1922, mechanical movement, 8.5×1.5 cm, signed Cartier, no. 453, red Cartier fitted case – Estimate CHF 80,000-120,000
BELLE EPOQUE ‘PLANET SEMI MYSTERY DAY AND NIGHT’ DESK CLOCK, CARTIER Circular dial in blue guilloché enamel, inscribed in latin ‘I do not count the hours if they are not brilliant’, agate, white and light blue enamel, rose-cut diamonds, gold (French mark), 1913, mechanical movement, 11.0×2.0 cm, signed Cartier, maker’s mark (Maurice Couët), red Cartier fitted case – Estimate CHF 140,000-200,000
ART DECO MOTHER-OF-PEARL, ENAMEL, TURQUOISE, MOONSTONE AND DIAMOND DESK CLOCK, CARTIER Circular burgauté lacquer dial inset with cabochon moonstones, mother-of-pearl, enamel, cabochon turquoises, rose-cut diamonds, gold (French mark), 1926, mechanical movement, 9.4×2.1 cm, unsigned, maker’s mark (Maurice Couët), no. 1438, red Cartier fitted case Estimate CHF 120,000-180,000
BELLE EPOQUE ENAMEL, EMERALD AND DIAMOND CLOCK, CARTIER Circular dial with Arabic numerals, purple guilloché enamel, white enamel, emerald beads, rose-cut diamonds monogram, 1910s, mechanical movement, 6.9×5.0x3.7 cm, signed Cartier Paris Londres, no. 2027, red Cartier pouch Estimate CHF 20,000-30,000
BELLE EPOQUE ENAMEL AND PINK QUARTZ QUARTER REPEATER CLOCK, CARTIER Purple guilloché enamel, white enamel, cabochon pink quartz, silver (French mark) and gold, mechanical movement, 1907, 7.0×4.8×3.7 cm, signed Cartier Paris Londres, no. 1861, red Cartier original fitted case Estimate CHF 25,000-35,000
ART DECO ENAMEL AND GOLD ‘ALTAR’ DESK CLOCK, CARTIER Blue and white enamel, blued steel hands, gold, circa 1925, mechanical movement, 4.2×2.3×1.0 cm, signed Cartier, maker’s mark (Viel-Robin & Co.), nos. 1939 9300, brown Cartier original fitted case Estimate CHF 15,000-20,000 _____________________________________________________________________________________
Christie’s Geneva Auction Week will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues.
The viewing opens on 27 June and will run until 30 June, daily from 10.00am to 6.00pm.
The Magnificent Jewels auction will take place on 1st of July in two sessions at 2.00pm and 6.00pm and the clock collection will be sold at the beginning of the 2.00pm session.