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  • Harry Fane

The Big Crash

Updated: Nov 8, 2020


Only in May, I wrote about an early 1990s Crash Watch making a dizzying $ 125,000 in Hong Kong. How the records need to be re-written as a platinum version of the same watch just made a staggering $ 280,000 (inc taxes etc) at Phillips Geneva. First, some very clever fellow bought this watch from a regional English saleroom about four months for approx $ 70,000. By flipping it immediately to Phillips and into the hands of the magical watch seller Aural Bacs, he has walked away with a quick $ 100,000 profit. Clever guy.

This is a rare watch. Only three versions in platinum were made so they deserve a premium price. However, does a 'white' Tank hold the same 'charm' as those in yellow gold which is how they were originally made? I am not sure but for my personal point of view, I prefer the yellow gold version. This is not to diminish this platinum watch, it is a real beauty; this is just an observation.

Regardless of the 'white' or 'yellow' argument, the Crash watch is one of the great icons of the 20th Century. Made at the height of the Swinging Sixties in London, the Crash has a rightful place alongside the Beatles, the E-type Jaguar, the mini skirt and the Mini Cooper. No other watch has the mystical attraction the Crash inspires and I am always fascinated when I hold vintage Cartier watch exhibitions when the first things people ask to see is the Crash. No less a style-setter than Kanye West was recently spotted wearing a Crash with his wife Kin Kardashian wearing a matching model. Sadly, no pictures are known of the buyers of the original twelve made in London the 1960s. I know where one is, bought from Cartier at the time but none of the others has ever re-appeared. What would they be worth??

So congratulations to Phillips and to the clever bloke who spotted this opportunity...

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