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101 Cartier Clocks to Go on Sale at Christie’s Auction in Geneva

World-leading art business Christie’s will be presenting a unique collection of 101 Cartier clocks spanning more than 80 years of clockmaking at the French luxury house at auction in Geneva.

Cartier clock

This incredible collection was curated over a period of 30 years, with meticulous consideration gone into which pieces should belong in this once in a lifetime collection. The pre-sale estimate for the entire collection is AED 14.7 to AED 21.5 million, with individual estimates starting at AED 30,000.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the relationship between Louis Cartier and master clockmaker Maurice Coüet helped to cement Cartier’s reputation as the leading manufacturer of jeweled objects. Coüet was inspired by the magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin — considered by many as the father of modern conjuring — and incorporated the most technologically advanced mechanisms into his designs, creating works that continue to fascinate and entertain today.

Best known for his pendules mystérieuses, or ‘Mystery’ clocks, with their mechanisms hidden in the frame, Coüet astonished the industry with his use of illusion. In 1973 the Maison acquired one of these marvelous clocks from the art market, a pioneering move that gave birth to what would become known as the Cartier Collection. Today, the collection is comprised of more than 1,600 pieces of jewelry, watches, clocks, and precious objects, and gives the world’s most renowned museums the opportunity to celebrate Cartier creations by featuring them in major exhibitions.

The first planet clocks were made in 1912, constituting round or angular cases with two superimposed dials. The lower dials would usually be crafted from light or dark blue enamel and constantly rotate to represent a day or night sky. Sometimes, a crescent moon in diamonds served as an indicator of the hours at night. The other model that year featured a central disc with a comet that rotated within the dial, while the minutes were read off a pointer that circled along a concentric ring.

The auction will take place on July 1 at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva as part of the wider Christie’s Geneva Auction Week.

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