Cartier Introduces the Crash in Platinum

Only available at New Bond Street, London.

Cartier has returned to its most iconic, yet most elusive, design with the Crash London New Bond Street Exclusive. The new launch mirrors the Crash release of 2019 by keeping it exclusive to the New Bond Street boutique in London, only this time the case is in platinum.

Initial thoughts

A new Cartier Crash is always worth taking note of, especially when its design pays close attention to the original of 1967. While the brand has been noted for diligently recreating the looks from its past, none of them come close in terms of excitement among collectors than the Crash. 

Following up the yellow gold version of four years ago with this platinum model was a smart move by the brand, and has put clear thought into how to execute it. Notably, the vintage “London” Crash was never available in platinum so this is not so much a remake as a reinterpretation of history – one but executed very well.

From the form of the case to the layout of the dial and hands, Cartier has done their utmost to respect what Jean-Jacques Cartier and Rupert Emerson had first imagined and besides a perhaps slightly questionable placement of “Swiss made”, they appear to have done a fantastic job. 

Not only has the dial design been slightly modified, but the brand has also updated the movement to use the cal. 1917 MC, perhaps an upgrade in terms of it being in house, though the construction of the cal. 1917 MC is not as sophisticated as the Jaeger-LeCoultre movement it replaces.

Cartier has priced this watch at £43,000, not an insignificant amount of money for a simple, time-only watch, but considering the immense status of this design, and its clear longevity, it feels justifiable. 

Only in London

Born out of London in the Swinging Sixties, the Cartier Crash can easily be described as one of the world’s most iconic watch designs, and possibly the most exclusive. This latest version remains true to its roots, with it only being sold in the London boutique on New Bond Street, the very same building that Jean-Jacques Cartier worked in when the first Crash was sold over 50 years ago. 

While the model that the brand released four years ago was more accurate in terms of its case metal, this version has not taken anything away from the design by using platinum. Given Cartier’s rich history with using the tough precious metal, it feels fitting for this new release and consistency with the current collection can be seen with the ruby cabochon that has been set in the beaded crown. 

Having updated the movement to the cal. 1917 MC is also a nice touch (though technical minded enthusiasts will no doubt prefer the Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre of before). The tonneau-shaped, hand-wound cal. 1917 MC can also be found in many recent Tank Louis Cartier and Asymétrique models. With a slim profile of 2.9 mm high allowing it to fit nicely inside the shaped case, although it has a limited power reserve of 38 hours due to its compact size.

While the dial still says “Swiss Made”, the case back has been given a special engraving featuring the New Bond Street boutique’s emblem, signifying the very spot this watch can be exclusively purchased from. While many fans might wish the dial itself to say London, as the originals of the 60s and 70s did, this is still a nice touch and a nod to the watch’s origins.

Key Facts and Price

Cartier Crash London New Bond Street Exclusive
Ref. CRWGCH0050

Diameter: Unavailable
Height: Unavailable
Material: Platinum
Water resistance: 30 m
Crystal: Sapphire

Movement: Cal. 1917 MC
Functions: Hours, minutes
Winding: Manual
Frequency: 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 38 hours

Strap: Calfskin with folding buckle

Limited edition: No
Starting July 2023 at Cartier New Bond Street
Price: GBP43,000 including taxes

For more, visit


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In Focus: Voutilainen Decimal Repeater GMT “L’Esprit du Bois”

An exquisite and rare example of Voutilainen's oeuvre.

Now best known for the Vingt-8 chronometer, particularly when combined with its exemplary and versatile guilloche work, Voutilainen also produces high complicated watches. Though the brand now largely focuses on the time-only Vingt-8, it once completed striking watches on a fairly regular basis.

One of the best examples of such a chiming masterpiece is the Decimal Repeater GMT “L’Esprit du Bois” that was delivered a decade ago, when Voutilainen was a far smaller operation centred on its founder, Kari Voutilainen. This unique repeater is now available at Phillips Perpetual in London.

Quintessential Voutilainen

Before he found the success that led to the current three-year waitlist for the Vingt-8, Mr Voutilainen made perhaps two dozen repeaters (compared to hundreds of time-only watches), all equipped with refinished vintage ebauches.

Most were decimal repeaters that struck the time in ten-minute blocks, as opposed to the quarter strikes of convention repeaters, making time telling more intuitive.

“L’Esprit du Bois” is one of the most elaborate of Mr Voutilainen’s chiming watches. Delivered in 2013, the watch combines a decimal repeater and second time zone display, all presented in the quintessential Voutilainen manner with a case featuring teardrop lugs and a dial finished with a variety of guilloche patterns.

But it is distinguished by something special: the hinged case back is entirely relief engraved and enamelled with a motif drawn from Greek mythology.

Fine details

The watch is instantly recognisable as a Voutilainen. Featuring Roman numerals, the silvered dial is finished with three distinct guilloche patterns, while the hands in his signature “observatory” style.

The hands are of course hand made and as is often the case with Voutilainen watches, composed of several parts to create a two-tone finish. The main body of the hour and minute hands are polished steel, but each has a chamfered blued steel ring pressed into the end.

The most striking feature of the dial is the second time zone at two o’clock. Though mechanically simple – it’s a 24-hour hand that can be set in one-hour steps – it is beautifully presented with a day and night disc hand engraved by Eddy Jaquet, a leading engraver in watchmaking whose work can be found on a number of Voutilainen watches.

Like several of his other repeaters, the “L’Esprit du Bois” is larger than the average Voutilainen watch. Measuring 42 mm in diameter, the case is 18k white gold and features his trademark teardrop lugs.

But the most impressive aspect of the case is on the reverse. It reveals the hunter back that lifts to show the movement within. The hinged back, however, is perhaps as exquisite as the movement.

Like the day and night disc, the back is the work of Eddy Jaquet. Mr Jaquet decorated the back with both relief and recessed engraving.

Portrayed in Art Nouveau style, the Seven Sisters known as the Pleiades, daughters of Atlas, are depicted in relief. Around them and also on the rim of the case back is translucent, dark blue fired enamel done in the champleve technique where the enamel fills recesses engraved into the case back.

Under the back sits the hand-wind repeating movement. Like all the other repeaters Mr Voutilainen created, the calibre is based on a vintage ebauche, or movement blank. According to Mr Voutilainen, this particular calibre was originally a LeCoultre ebauche.

Measuring 12.5”’ in diameter, the movement is fairly large and was likely originally created for a small pocket watch. Its historical origins means the layout is eminently classical with finger bridges for the going train and wolf’s teeth on the winding and barrel ratchet wheels.

However, as is the norm for Mr Voutilainen, he didn’t merely dress up an old movement. The decoration is of course exemplary, but he also upgraded the movement.

Most obvious is the conversion from conventional repeater to decimal repeater, but perhaps more practical is the installation of a shock-protection spring on the jewel for the balance staff, a feature that was not yet invented when this movement was originally produced.

The “L’Esprit du Bois” is naturally an expensive watch, but relative to the current retail prices or secondary market values in independent watchmaking it is a reasonable proposition considering the brand, complication, and elaborate execution.

The Decimal Repeater GMT “L’Esprit du Bois” is priced at £360,000 (equivalent to US$457,000 at time of writing) before taxes. It is available at Phillips Perpetual in London. For more, visit

This was brought to you in partnership with Phillips Perpetual.


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