We all know collectors go a bit mad at a good double signature. A Comex Submariner will sell at 100x the production dial and let’s not even mention Tiffany Pateks. In that league of rarity (but not price) are Cartier signatures. Before Cartier was a watchmaking titan, they were a watch retailer of the very best. Cartier signatures are particularly sought after, firstly due to the brands notoriety and secondly as simple function of rarity. Cartier retailed pieces at an extremely low volume. A handful of pieces will surface in the secondary market every year. This is one such example.
The time-only dress reference that is this 6194 is elegant beyond compare. A fitting piece, really, to wear the Cartier name. The case is an extremely thin and subtle 31mm, suited to a more slender wrist. Its movement is a simple 17 jewel Vacheron cal 1003 with Geneva striping and various other small finishing flauntings. The caliber is extremely thin and beats a 18000 vph for a 31 hour reserve, manually wound. This is a truly timeless design.
This example is quite the interesting one. By way of condition, it is nearly flawless. The 18K YG case is remarkably unadulterated, given how soft early gold alloys generally are. This is either a rarely worn or stored-away watch. It comes with an extract confirming 1957 production. Serial numbers, movement signature, and case stampings are all correct and matched.
The watch sports an interesting engraving on its back, JPH 7-21-61. I love historical bread crumbs like this. If I were interested in purchasing, I would be on the phone and digging through archives for hours to figure out who or what JPH was. If this is a watch you’re considering, you have an adventurous hunt ahead. Perhaps start with Christies. I have to commend retailer ACM for not gouging particularly steep margin since this watch was last auctioned. The market for double-signed pieces has increased considerably since just 2018 and yet they are not gouging. That’s a seller who respects their customer. If that’s you, let me know if you ever find out who or what JPH is.
Find this mysterious Vacheron 6194 here from ACM for 9750 GBP