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Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's Cartier Tank 'France' is on Auction this 21st June in New York City 

In conjuction of the Rare Watches and American Icons auction in New York City, Christies had just annouced that it will be selling a Cartier Tank watch owned and worn by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The pairing of an iconic watch – that is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and with one of the most captivating personalities of the 20th century, is impossible to resist. 
Accroding to the Famous Watch Portal Hodinkee, The watch was a gift given to Jackie by her brother-in-law, Prince Stanislaw Radziwill (who went by "Stas") in 1963. It was given to commemorate a 50-mile hike the two went on together, along with her husband President John F. Kennedy and others, in Palm Beach in February of that year. While some historic watches and gifted watches have a connection to someone significant but were never really worn, Jackie wore the watch regularly for years and it can be seen on her wrist in many well-known photographs.
The watch itself is a small yellow gold Tank with a diminutive movement inside that you manually wind by turning the sapphire cabochon-set crown. The case appears to have taken on a nice soft finish from wear, and the hallmarks and serial number are clearly visible. The dial has definitely aged – showing that the watch is honest and was well-worn – with a little vignetting along the edges of the parchment-colored ground and some light spotting to the inky numerals and minute track. 
From the "Cartier France" signature on the dial and the "Made In France" engraving on the back, we also know that this watch must have been purchased at Cartier in Paris, which makes sense given the family's ties to the French capital. It's worth remembering that at the time, the only three places in the world you could purchase Cartier products were at the boutiques in New York, London, and Paris. There were no third-party retailers of Cartier, so obtaining something from the vaunted design house was not so easy. But back to the watch at hand.

Flip Jackie's Tank over and there's a heck of an engraving on the back. Inscribed (very crudely, but charmingly, I might add) is "Stas to Jackie / 23 Feb. 63 / 2:05 AM to 9:35 PM." This marks the date, start time, and end time of that 50-mile hike that the relatives took together. A beautiful watch like this certainly seems reward enough for nearly 20 hours of hiking.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank engraving

The watch was a gift from Jackie's brother-in-law and has a personal engraving on the back.

The watch comes with an unusual companion too. Along with the Tank the winner will receive a painting made by Jackie in 1963 for – you guessed it – her brother-in-law Stas. Below the painting of Stas and his friend Chuck Spalding on a hike, is a hand-written message nearly identical to the engraving, which reads "February 23, 1963 2:05 am to 9:35 pm / Jackie to Stas with love and admiration." Until now, the existence of this painting was not publicly known.
jacqueline kennedy onassis stas painting christies

A painting by Jackie, given to Stas to commemorate the same hike.

As if you needed more reasons to be interested, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this watch and painting will be donated to the National Endowment for the Arts. This is per the wishes of the consignor, who is choosing to remain anonymous (for obvious reasons). The watch carries an estimate of $60,000 to $120,000 – but with something like this, you never really know where the bidding will end.

The Rare Watches and American Icons sale will take place at Christie's New York City saleroom on June 21, with sessions at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. The catalog is not online yet, but keep your eyes on the Christie's Watch Department websitefor more details soon.

Source: Hodinkee

 

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