This year the French jeweler will once again resurrect its gorgeous Cartier Crash line of luxury watches with a twist in the most literal meaning of the expression. First introduced half a century ago as a kind of homage to one of their London branch top managers who died in a car crash, the timekeeper looks like it was half-melted and deformed in fire.
The French brand first approached the idea last year when they introduced the Dali-inspired Cartier Tank Folle (ref. WJ306017) hand-wound ladies watch. This new Cartier Crash limited edition model goes even further with its elongated body looking like an almost exact reproduction of the original 1960’s model. Even the way they placed the “CARTIER” inscriptions within the chapter ring and inside the Latin “VI” numeral look exactly the same.
Well, the magical “Paris” toponym is now replaced with a lot more prestigious “Swiss Made” combination, but the shape and relative size of the numerals, the traditional sword-shaped hour and minute hands, and even the winding crown that looks like Monomakh’s Cap, is basically the same.
Still, the new iteration of the watch looks a lot more refined thanks to the dozens of diamonds that adorn its rather thin bezel, as well as the multi-link bracelet totaling at whole 621 precious stones with a total weight of 6.42 carats! Of course, there will also be a more subdued version of the Crash featuring a less expensive (and, also, less dazzling) bracelet made either from rose or white gold. As for the horological part of this beautiful trinket, it is rather briefly said to be equipped with a manually-wound mechanical caliber, which is built on just 18 jewels. I dare to assume that the movement in question is the same Cartier caliber 8970 MC mechanism that powered the aforementioned Tank Folle model*.
As far as availability is concerned, they plan to offer only 334 watches with 267 pieces featuring gold bracelets and the other 67 equipped with gem-set jobs.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
See also: Cartier Masse Secrete Panthere Decor
* UPDATE ON MOVEMENT AND PRICING: The limited edition wristwatch is indeed powered by the Cartier caliber 8970 MC: a gorgeous, tiny mechanism that the watchmaking branch of the French jeweler uses to power their smaller timekeepers. As for the prices, they will range from pretty impressive $74,000 for a version in rose gold on plain multi-link bracelet in the same precious metal to outrageous $131,000 USD for the top of the line version in rose gold that is equipped with a diamond-set bracelet. I am not sure about the gadgets’ potential collectibility, but, if you can afford one of these toys, they seem to be worth every penny that Cartier plans to ask for them.
Cartier Crash Limited Edition watch specification
Price: $74,000 (MSRP, ref. WL420047 in rose gold on standard bracelet) / $79,500 (MSRP, ref. WL420051 in white gold) / $131,000 (MSRP, ref. HPI00653 in rose gold with diamonds on the bracelet)
Movement: Manual (hand-wound,) Cartier Calibre 8970 MC, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 18
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes
Case material: 18-carat white gold / 18-carat rose gold
Bezel material: Matches case, set with 150 diamonds (2.15 carats)
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Deformed
Bezel shape: Matches case
Case size: 38.50 mm x 25.50 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Silver-toned or Copper-toned
Hour markers: None
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Diamond bracelet with 471 diamonds (4.27 carats, 67 numbered pieces) or a standard bracelet in rose (ref. WL420047) or white gold (267 pieces)
Case back: Solid, engraved