According to TMZ, first lady of celebrity Kim Kardashian placed a secret bid on former First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier watch from Christie’s Auction House. She reportedly bought the vintage Cartier timepiece for $379,500, more than triple the original asking price of $120,000. I remember making a few over payment mistakes in the early days of eBay, but never on this scale.
The elegant Cartier Tank Normale features an engraving on the back which reads: “Stas to Jackie 23 Feb. 63 2:05 am to 9:35 pm.” This refers to the start and finish times of the famous 50-Mile Hike in Palm Beach in 1963. Jackie walked this distance with Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill, as part of an initiative by her husband, President Kennedy. In the same year, Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, later to be her husband, gave Mrs Kennedy a £50,000 ruby and diamond necklace.
In the early 60s, the Cartier empire, still a family firm, consisted of three boutiques. New York, London, and the Paris boutique located at 13 Rue de la Paix. It was there that Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill bought the watch, given the signature of “France” on the dial. The Tank Normale was the first Tank model to be introduced by Cartier, but always stood in the shadow of the later, and more popular, Louis Cartier Tank.
The design for the Tank watch was originally inspired by Renault tanks as witnessed by Louis Cartier in World War I, but despite the longevity of the hit show Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s, now in its 13th series, it shows no signs of tanking. Having personally amassed over 45 million followers on Twitter, Kim Kardashian has certainly established herself as an icon of pop culture. And don’t worry about KK being unable to meet the inflated cost of the watch. She has a reputed net worth of $85 million.
Sadly, during the time Jackie Kennedy owned the watch there were two assassinations in her family, first her husband JFK on November 22, 1963, and then Robert Kennedy on June 6th 1968. Let’s hope it brings more luck to Ms Kardashian.