The world of fine watchmaking has quite a few secrets, and none as alluring as the inspirations that create these beautiful pieces. The complex world is a blend of art and science, highlighted by a jolt of inspiration that strikes like lightning – much like how it did when it came to the Cartier Crash Watch!
The iconic brand has been making its mark since 1847, with its timeless jewellery, and then started creating luxury watches for men and women not much longer after that. Beloved by royals, Cartier captured the interest of many and does, till this date.
The spirit of creativity runs strong with Cartier, in the way they conceptualize their pieces – and the Cartier Crash is just one of those unforgettable stories that cemented the brand’s place. One look at the Crash and you’ll be blown away by its incredibly designed details, unique dial and impeccable craftsmanship. How did this piece come to be?
The answer lies in how creativity is found in the most unusual areas. Jean-Jacques Cartier, the head of Cartier London in the 1960s, was inspired by the remains of a Cartier watch salvaged from a horrific car crash. Completely melted and distorted, the watch had transformed into something else entirely – this new form inspired him to think out of the box! The original watch, the Cartier Baignoire Allongee, transformed from its thin and oblong shape to something absolutely unrecognizable.
The now-surreal watch captured everyone’s attention with its stylized asymmetrical look and was quickly snapped up by celebs of the day. Moreover, it looks a lot like Salvador Dali’s statement painting – the Melting Clocks – signifying its ascent into fine art. Not only did the aesthetics change, but also the internal workings were specially created for the Crash watch, as its one-of-its-kind shape ensured that the standard details would not work easily.
The Cartier Crash has acquired a cult status over the years, more so with its limited edition run. It started gaining popularity once more in 2013 when a new Crash Cartier watch for women was launched. In 2015, they went one step further in reinventing the watch, with its Skeleton update, with its decidedly minimal design being centrestage.
Today, the Cartier Crash watch symbolises mankind’s drive & creativity in the face of adversity – an icon for the days to come!