Created in 1967 in Swinging London, the Crash watch, with its unlikely design,  expresses the sparkling, carefree spirit of an era that was all about complete freedom.
How was it created? A client entrusted a damaged Cartier watch to the head of the London subsidiary. Immediately captivated by this never-before-seen design, he decided to incorporate its folly into the vocabulary of Cartier’s watch shapes. With its asymmetrical dial, the Crash watch very soon became a collector’s watch, produced in very limited editions.

Today, it is not simply the case that Cartier has subjected to radical transformations, but the entire movement which finds itself “crashed” in order to sit within the concave form of the platinium case.

 

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The plates of the Crash Skeleton watch are sculpted and the entire movement has become the watch’s dial. © Cartier


The entire movement was rethought. So, the dial, completely skeletonised, is covered with oversized Roman numerals that reveal the movement beneath. These Roman numerals are in fact skeletonised bridges which provide the support for the calibre. Blued-steel, sword-shaped hands complete the dial.

Through the transparent case back, the gear trains of the calibre 9618 MC with manual winding can be admired. It beats at 28 800 alt/h and offers 3 days power-reserve.
This calibre is not a traditional movement that has simply been modified to adjust to the shape of the case. It was designed from the outset as an openwork movement and conceived to achieve the best effect in terms of arrangement and aesthetics.
Due to its design and the skeletonising of the plates, the movement displays a large number of surfaces which have all benefited from a Fine Watchmaking finish: satin-finishing of the steel components, and Roman numerals with chamfered and polished flanks.

 

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Calibre 9618 MC. © Cartier

 

The watch is completed with a grey alligator strap equipped with a white gold folding clasp.