Some of the acclaimed timepieces from a selection never before presented to the public are now showcases at the Vintage Grail boutique at the Peninsula Manila
Vintage Grail has partnered with noted vintage Cartier specialist Harry Fane, touching on the history of Cartier’s acclaimed watches through a selection of 34 timepieces that were presented to the public for the very first time. Some of the said timepieces will be showcased at their Peninsula Manila boutique.
Best known for their timeless classics, specifically the Cartier Tank and the Santos de Cartier, Cartier watches have been sported by European and Asian royalty and celebrity icons, including fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and film director Sofia Ford-Coppola.
Vintage Grail, which has built a reputation in sourcing rare modern and vintage timepieces for collectors in the Asia-Pacific region, has partnered with Fane who has spent his career studying and sourcing Cartier timepieces in the past 43 years, with noted celebrities counted among his prestigious clientele.
Paolo Martel, managing partner at Vintage Grail, said “The Philippine market has primarily been dominated with vintage timepieces centred on Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Omega. We are excited to introduce vintage Cartier timepieces to the market and hope to develop a keen interest among the collecting community.”
The Philippine market has primarily been dominated with vintage timepieces centred on Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Omega. We are excited to introduce vintage Cartier timepieces to the market and hope to develop a keen interest among the collecting community. —Paolo Martel
The online event featured an impressive collection that covered over 65 years of watchmaking. It primarily focuses on the “Golden Era” period that lasted until the early 1970s, when the family sold off their respective interests in the firm. During this period, Cartier limited its watch production, where the family managed the firm at its three locations—New York, Paris, and London.
Among the key highlights is an early Tank Cintrée from 1926 that is set with Arabic digits on its silvered dial encapsulated in an 18-karat yellow gold case; a rare Platinum Tank Normale from 1928-29 that was based on the original design by Louis Cartier that was inspired by the French Renault tanks used during the First World War and a Rectangular Tank with its minimalist dial actuated with Roman numerals called “Baton Chapters” that was crafted by its Parisian branch before the conclusion of the Second World War.
One example that grabbed the audience’s attention is the Crash represented by a diamond-encrusted white gold example from 1991. According to Fane, recent findings have concluded that Jean-Jacques Cartier, the last of the Cartier brothers to manage the firm’s London branch, came up with the idea for the design of the timepiece.
Today the Crash has become one of the most recognizable symbols of “pop” culture. Recently, a Crash has been spotted on the wrist of hip-hop star Kanye West. There is a strong rumor West purchased his model from Fane, but neither of the two would confirm or deny it.
The collectability of vintage Cartier timepieces had gained significant prominence with several pieces selling for record prices at auction. Very few know or understand the history of this extraordinary company, which crafted some of the finest timepieces of the 20th century. Thankfully, through the help of Vintage Grail and Harry Fane London, this event has created the chance to rediscover and truly appreciate this iconic company.
Read more about the timepieces mentioned in this article in a special catalog now available to download at vintagegrail.com. Vintage Grail is a regional watch company with offices in the Philippines and Hong Kong, specializing in sourcing only highly coveted rare vintage and modern timepieces. E-mail [email protected], call +639171591211, or follow Vintage Grail on Facebook and on Instagram.