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If you scroll through this report, you will see that we have been following the trajectory of the Cartier Crash watches as they have appeared on the market in recent months. Yesterday, we saw a new high for the 1991 series, US $ 210,000 (all in) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.
‘Are you surprised?’ I was asked this morning. ‘No, no. This watch deserves all the attention and these strong prices’, I replied. In fact, I believe this is only the beginning. I just looked up the six top prices paid for Rolex watches in recent years. It obviously starts with the Paul Newman Daytona at $ 17.5M but then the prices go $ 6.5M, $ 3.7M, $ 3.01M, $ 2.6M and finally $ 1.95M. These dwarf this new Crash price, and it seems unbalanced especially given how famous the Crash is.
What, you might ask, is driving the resurgence of interest in the Crash? It is hard to quantify bar for these four things:
First: I think people who have been collecting Rolexes are beginning to think that market is both saturated and overpriced and they are now looking for something ‘new’. Cartier has been grossly overlooked for years and people are beginning to realise this. I am seeing interest surging for all vintage Cartier watches. The Crash is the market leader, the virtual Newman Daytona of the Cartier stable, but interest in other models is very strong. Cartier London watches, for example, are very much in demand.
Second: Cartier themselves are re-issuing many of their classic models. Both the Crash and the Cintree have been re-issued in their original form in the last couple of years. The attendant publicity surrounding these re-issues is driving many people to re-evaluate the historical Cartier timepieces.
Third: The Kanye West/Kim Kardashian element cannot be dismissed. Kanye West bought a pair of the 1991 series Crashes from a well-known London, Cartier expert (nameless, of course) three years ago. He simply admired the design and wanted the watch. His wearing the Crash brought the model to the attention of a wide group of people who previously had probably not thought much about it. Kanye West is a trend and style-setter with vast influence. ‘Hat’s off’ to him for seeing this trend emerging well before anyone else did.
Fourth: In today’s world, let’s face it, if you wear something you have spent a fortune to buy, it is very rewarding when people react. How disappointing to buy a million-dollar car and no-one say a
word…same with a watch; if you wear a Crash, people react with awe and delight. These watches say something powerful, and we can see that plenty of people want to own this rare and powerful emblem.
Prices will go even higher. Mark my words.