Christie’s upcoming Rare Watches and American Icons auction in New York City on June 21 will feature plenty of fine, sought-after timepieces, but one is sure to steal the show. The item? A Cartier Tank wristwatch that belonged to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
The watch was a gift to Jackie O. from her brother-in-law, Prince Stanislaw Radziwill, in 1963. It was given to her to commemorate a 50-mile hike that Prince Radziwill and some of their relatives and family friends took in Palm Beach, Florida.
Watches like these are already admired, but with the added provenance of Camelot, it becomes a high-value item for the right bidder. The former First Lady of the United States wore the piece regularly for years, and it even made appearances in many of iconic photographs.
Adding to the rarity of the Cartier Tank is a special engraving on the back from Prince “Stas.” It reads, “Stas to Jackie/ 23 Feb. 63/ 2:05 AM to 9:35 PM.” Along with the sale comes another unique link to Jackie and Prince Stas’ relationship, a new-to-the public painting completed by Jackie for her brother-in-law. It consists of Stas and his friend Chuck Spalding on a hike, and features a hand-written message from Jackie that is almost identical to the watch engraving.
The Cartier Tank wristwatch features a vintage dial, with some light vignetting around the edges of the parchment-toned faces and some minor spotting on the numerals and minute track. The timepiece bears the marks “Cartier France” and “Made In France” engraved into it, indicating that it was purchased at Cartier in Paris, and not in the brand’s other two locations in New York and London.
Proceeds of the sale will be donated to the National Endowment for the Arts. The watch currently holds an estimated final-gavel price of anywhere from $60,000 to $120,000.