At SIHH 2015, Cartier will release a skeletonized version of their original 1967 “Crash” watch, which is said to have been inspired by a Cartier executive’s timepiece that was smashed in a car accident. The look was also likely inspired by the Salvador Dali painting “The Persistence of Memory.”
Naturally, the shape of the watch caused a number of production complications. First, the case was very difficult to machine because of the unique curvature, compounded by the fact that it is platinum. Second, mineral crystals were used front and back, presumably because Cartier found it impossible or cost prohibitive to manufacture sapphire crystals with both vertical and horizontal curves. Lastly, the movement was of course extremely challenging to develop and manufacture because it had to fit within the uncommon shape of the asymmetrical case.
The caliber MC 9618 is based on the skeleton movements used in the Santos and Tank watches, but with modifications to fit within the case. Ingeniously, the Roman numerals that mark the hours, are also the base plate. The main plate and bridges are in rhodium-plated German silver, with chamfered and polished edges. The hand wound movement beats at 4Hz and has a three day power reserve, thanks to twin barrels.
The Cartier Crash Skeleton is paired with a grey alligator leather strap and white gold folding clasp. There will be 67 pieces made in platinum, and 67 in dimaond-set platinum. The starting price will be approximately $62,000.