Antiquorum auction: Cartier Pasha and Santos Dumont
When a golf ball is at risk of hitting a person the player is supposed to shout “fore!” as a warning. ‘Fore’ stands for ‘Flying Object Reaching Earth’ and that also seems applicable to the Cartier Pasha Golf that was auctioned off at the New York branch of Antiquorum last week. This yellow gold 38mm Cartier was made in the 1990s and is a rare piece of equipment, as the movement is of the automatic winding type and not a quartz version, which was much more common in those days. The yellow gold golf watch has five pushers and four digital registers for adding up the golf strokes, which can be seen underneath four small, convex lenses.
The pusher at 9 o’clock returns the counted strokes to zero. Cartier has been working hard for many years to position itself as a serious watch house. By ‘serious’ we mean a fully-fledged producer of haute horlogerie with the prestige to match. The complicated creations that have been leaving the manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds in recent years were original, very complicated and had a typical Cartier signature. Prestige and reputation translate into high amounts at auction. This rare Pasha Golf in pristine condition was estimated to fetch 20,000 to 30,000 dollars but reached 36,000 dollars, to which the auction fees of course still had to be added. A serious amount that may be an indication of the excellent job Cartier has been doing for years now on the complication front.
Daredevil pilot and dandy
Not complicated at all, but definitely very rare and of great historic significance. In 1904 Louis Cartier built a wristwatch for his Brazilian friend, aviation pioneer and society figure Alberto Santos Dumont. It was one of the very first wristwatches for men and was the result of the daredevil pilot’s desire to be able to see the time when flying without having to take his hands off the controls to dig around in his vest pocket for his watch. The original wrist creation was a unique piece, but because the style of dandy Santos Dumont was much copied in elite Parisian circles, a number of wealthy gentlemen were soon knocking at the door of Louis Cartier, requesting one of these new-fangled wristwatches for themselves. Cartier subsequently produced a series of the same watches in platinum that were given the name Santos Dumont; a name that is still a fixture in the collection of today’s Cartier. The platinum Santos Dumont watch shown here was made in the 1930s. The case is platinum and the screws in the characteristic case are yellow gold. The folding clasp is also made of platinum and yellow gold. The Pasha Golf sold at the Antiquorum auction in New York last October, but the hammer didn’t fall on this historic watch, which was estimated to sell between 20,000 and 30,000 dollars. Not complicated enough, maybe?