The Cartier Crash
Dimension: 38mm x 22mm
Several legends surround the Cartier Crash and its creation. Despite my research and various inquiries, I have not been able to come up with a firm and definitive answer on this subject. So I’ll leave it to you to choose the version you prefer. The story goes that following a car accident, an unfortunate passenger (according to the version either the vice-president of Cartier London or a major Cartier customer) who died in the accident was wearing a Cartier watch (Pebble, Tank or Ovale depending on the version). The burning car completely deformed the shape of the watch, giving it the appearance of a melting watch by Dali. The watch was then brought back to Cartier, which inspired the series of 67 Cartier Crash watches in 1967. Whether true or false, the story remains cool and fun to tell…
A true horological icon when it comes to organic/asymmetric form, the Crash has established itself as the reference. Freed from conventional watchmaking codes, Cartier has never constrained itself in its conception and design. With designs that are always more refined and avant-garde, we believe that the Crash has never been matched.
The harmony of the case, the purity of the dial, all on elegant leather… a masterpiece!
Available in several sizes, versions, and dials, our favorite remains the original London.
CHURCHIL Watch CO. LONDON
It is difficult to find information on the brand, which I assume is British, Churchill Watch/Co (if you have any information, I’m interested!). A 100% copycat of the Cartier Crash, I like the idea of having bootlegs in watchmaking too. Although it clearly annoys the old timers in watchmaking, I can’t help but love it. Coming from the streetwear culture of the 90s, my vision of things is clearly influenced by it.
Here we can clearly see the reversed lines of the « real » one. At first glance, one could be fooled, but upon closer inspection and with a trained eye, one can see that the work is less subtle and refined than Cartier’s. The boom of the Crash has made this watch a collector’s item. Produced in small series with a manual mechanical ETA movement, it now achieves more than respectable scores in auctions.
For the record, I hesitated to buy a gold model a few years ago when it was offered to me for €2,500 at the time. (I was stupid…)
In the 1980s, Dino and Roberto Falcone, a father and son watchmaker based in Milan, manufactured and produced an extremely limited series of watches inspired by Dali’s soft watches.
These watches also don’t have unanimous appeal. It seems like it’s really something I love. The idea of doing something completely against the current, with an aesthetic that will be difficult to understand at first glance, really charms me! Releasing a watch that looks like nothing (we can take that literally this time) but with craftsmanship and an artisanal approach is definitely something to respect and admire.
Each of these watches was unique, with yellow or white gold cases and an automatic movement. Their particular design, with an enamel dial and hands that followed the shape of the case, contributed to the development of the asymmetric watch.