A unique private collection of 101 Cartier Mystery Clocks will be offered at Christie’s Geneva auction on 1 July at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues.
This collection emerged from collaboration between Cartier and master horologist Maurice Coüet at the beginning of the 20th century. The clocks have their mechanisms hidden in the frame to accentuate the designs. Those that have part of their mechanisms hidden are called semi-mystery clocks.
The 101 pieces span more than 80 years of clockmaking at Cartier, a French luxury jewelry and watch conglomerate founded in 1847. The private collector, whose identity wasn’t disclosed, created this collection over a period of 30 years and had it exhibited in many major museums, Christie’s said.
Leading the collection are two semi-mystery clocks modeled after the first planet clocks made in 1912 by Coüet. The clocks feature a central disk with a comet rotating with the dial, while the minutes are read off a pointer that circles along a concentric ring. The clock, made circa 1920, has a high estimate of CHF100,000, and the one made circa 1918 is estimated to fetch up to CHF180,000.
The pre-sale estimate for the entire collection is CHF 3.9 million to CHF 5.7 million, with individual estimates starting at CHF 8,000.