Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s Iconic Cartier Watch Goes to Auction
Renowned for her timeless style, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was undoubtedly one of the most influential fashion icons of the 20th century. Over five decades, she sparked trends that she’ll forever be known for: pillbox hats, tailored Chanel suits, oversized sunglasses, headscarves, and even a Gucci handbag named after her. Perhaps not as noticeable but nevertheless always present (usually under one of her stylish coats) was her Cartier Tank watch, being offered at Christie’s Rare Watches and American Icons New York sale on June 21.
The manual timepiece, with its signature 18K-gold square design and original black lizard strap, was a present from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in 1963. The personal engraving “Stas to Jackie 23 Feb. 63 2:05 am to 9:35 pm” refers to the famous 50-mile-hike challenge made by President John F. Kennedy that year.
The arduous walk was part of an effort by President Kennedy to encourage national physical fitness, and the 50-mile distance was a nod to former President Theodore Roosevelt’s fitness requirement for military officers (to maintain their commission, officers needed to be able to walk 50 miles within 20 hours).
In addition to the Cartier Tank, the lot (with an estimate of $60,000–$120,000) includes an artwork the former First Lady painted as a gift for Prince Radziwill. The charming piece depicts him walking alongside political adviser and close Kennedy friend Charles “Chuck” Spalding.
The live auction will be held on Tuesday, June 21, 2017 at 10 AM and 2 PM. christies.com