In yesterday’s Christie’s Rare Watches and American Icons auction, which totaled sales of more than $10M, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank watch set a world record for the most expensive Cartier Tank ever sold at auction. It went for $379,500. The winning bidder donated a portion of the proceeds to the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Cartier Tank watch, which the former First Lady wore for years and can be seen in many photos of her, was estimated to sell for between $60,000 and $120,000 — but tripled that. The watch had been a gift from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in 1963 and has an engraving on the caseback: “Stas to Jackie 23 Feb. 63 2:05 AM to 9:35 PM.” The 2:05 a.m. to 9:35 p.m. engraving references the beginning and end times of the 50-mile hike that took place in Palm Beach in 1963. The hikes were part of Kennedy’s concept for people to get healthy.
The watch was sold with an original painting by Jackie in 1963 as a gift for Radziwill also commemorating the hike and with the same date and times on it. Her painting also features a handwritten note to Radziwill: “Jackie to Stas with love and admiration.”