Today we want to turn the spotlight on one of the most interesting auctions of the year, the “88 Cartier” auction of Monaco Legend Group. For Cartier enthusiasts this is a real dream review, since many of the examples that will be sold at the Hôtel Hermitage of the Principality of Monaco Saturday 16 October are unique pieces, made on commission, or real rarities.

The collection object of "88 Cartier", belongs to Marcello Fratini who, together with his brother Corrado, leads important real estate and fashion groups. Thanks to the availability of Monaco Legend Group, we had the pleasure of being able to take a very close look at some of the 88 Cartiers that will go to auction, at the exhibition held last week in the elegant setting of the Mandarin Oriental in Milan.

LOT. 29 CARTIER OGIVAL, prototype made for Harry Lee Danziger

Let's start with one of the spearheads of this review, a watch of disarming beauty for its lines and refinement. I'm talking about a one-off Cartier, a prototype made especially for the owner of "Cartier Paris" Harry Lee Danziger. The latter along with his brother Edward, were prolific film producers between the 50s and 60s. In 1958, at the height of their success, they bought the Mayfair Hotel in London, the Grosvenor and the Metropol in Monte Carlo. Ten years later, in 1968, they secretly bought the property of Cartier Paris.

During these years, Harry commissioned some unique pieces of watches to add to his collection, such as this splendid one Cartier Ogival, the name derives from the shape of the case, which bears the inscription "Cartier Paris". The movement, as well as the dial, were made by Blancpain.

Although modern watchmaking is becoming more and more accustomed to watches with more unusual shapes and in some ways also similar to this model, I can tell you that in my life I have tried very few watches capable, like this one, of transmitting the feeling of wearing a work of art on the wrist.

Lot 29, estimated at 50.000 - 150.000 Euros


This example also represents the visionary trait of the Cartier maison. Launched in 1936, the Tank Asymmetrical it was designed to make it easily readable when worn behind the wheel of a car, without having to detach the arm from the steering wheel to view the time.

The example at auction is a 1996 re-edition created by Cartier in only 100 specimens and it is number 5 of 100, as shown on the caseback. The two body case is made of platinum, while the dial has a silver guilloché finish.

Equipped with all its documentation, the Tank Asymmetrical is quoted between 25 - 000 euros.


And here we are in front of another asymmetrical Cartier, the "Bell". This specimen was made in platinum by Cartier for the auction "The Magical Art of Cartier”From 1996, each with a different type of dial to make each watch unique. In fact, the caseback bears the inscription 1/1 and the year in which it was made, ie 1996. The watch is equipped with the manual caliber 9P2.

Lot estimated between 40'000 - 80'000 Euros.


In 1985 Gerald Genta modified the design of the Cartier Pasha initially created for the Sultan of Marrakech by making the grille disappear but the crowned feature remains the hood, the screw-down crown and the bold Arabic numerals on the watch face: his efforts have given birth to one of the most popular models of today. The unique and inimitable design of the Pasha immediately became a Cartier icon, perhaps also due to the story linked to the creation that wants to have taken place at the explicit request of a Sultan of Marrakech also called Pasha.

This is the classic example of not putting too much trust in appearances. What might seem like a simple "Pasha" is actually not: it is an incredibly rare watch as it is produced completely in platinum in a limited edition of 1/1 piece. This unique piece stands out for its beauty and condition: the unidirectional stepped bezel and crown perfectly protect the case. Arabic numerals along with a date window at 5 o'clock, a charming white dial and a white square in the center complete the structure of this incredible watch. It is also published in the book "White Cartier Bianco" by Osvaldo Patrizzi on page 58

Lot estimated between 150'000 - 300'000 Euros.


Well, here we are in front of Cartier's masterpiece and one of the most coveted models by collectors, the Crash. The Cartier Crash originates from the Cartier headquarters in London - "Cartier London”- in the era of Swinging London. It could almost seem that this movement, whose term “swinging” means undulating, has come to define the shapes of this case with such a disruptive design, but it is not. At least in practice.

However, several theories have followed one another over the years. Some have linked the shape of the Cartier Crash to Salvador Dalì's painting inspired by the soft clocks depicted in the work “The permanence of memory”. However the recent publication of the book "The Cartiers" to work Francesca Cartier Brickell, seems to indicate that the design of the iconic Cartier Crash is the result of the work of Jean-Jacques Cartier and the craftsman Rupert Emmerson, which played with the visual identity of Cartier Allongée, stretching and bending it.

The example at auction was produced in 1991 in a limited edition of 400 pieces. This modern version is marked "Paris" on the dial and caseback. The deployant clasp designed for the series also maintains the “Crash” design of the case.

This lot is estimated at between 50 - 000 euros.

LOT. 73 - CARITER Tank à Guichet in Platinum

The first version of the Tank à Guichet it dates back to 1928, a time when the “jumping hours” complication was very popular and widespread among wristwatches. This variation of the Tank undoubtedly reflects the Deco style of that period. The reading of the time is very intuitive, at 12 o'clock we find a small opening with the indication of the hours (jumping), while the display at 6 o'clock allows you to view the passing of the minutes.

The watch up for auction is one limited edition in platinum of only 150 pieces, produced on the occasion of Cartier's 150th anniversary in 1997. The caseback features the engravings “1847-1997” and the “LC” logo.

This lot is estimated at between 50 - 000 euros.

LOT. 75 - CARTIER NEW YORK ref. 2014

As many of you know, from 1898 Cartier began to broaden its horizons by opening two offices in addition to the Parisian one: that of Londa and that of New York. If many of the first two watches are easily identifiable with precise stylistic codes, it can be said that the one in New York was the least whimsical of the three.

Not so for this 1947 Cartier, with an unusual signed waterproof case Cartier Paris in yellow gold and articulated ribbed handles with hood. The silver dial has yellow gold applied baton indexes with an external five minute / second division, hands with luminous material with an atypical arrow minute hand and a date aperture at 3 o'clock. Accompanied by its original certificate showing all the information on the watch stamped by the Cartier maison, an archive photo is also published in the "The Temps de Cartier”By Jader Barracca, Giampiero Negretti and Franco Nencini on page 254.

This lot is estimated at between 30 - 000 euros.

For more details, visit the website of Monaco Legend Group