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Cartier New York, Charlton & Co. Art Deco Diamond Wristwatch



A watch composed of an openwork bracelet of old European- and baguette-cut diamonds centering a watch case with a single-cut diamond surround, white rectangular dial with black Arabic numerals and blued steel hands, with nickel-finished, jeweled lever movement; mounted in platinum • 34 old European-cut and 58 circular and single-cut diamonds, total weighing approximately 8 carats • 26 baguette-cut diamonds, total weighing approximately 2 carats • Dial signed “Charlton & Co. New York;” movement with Geneva Seal, no. “9061;” bracelet signed “Cartier” • Reproduction of original Cartier drawing • Measurements: 6 3⁄4 x 3⁄4 inches On December 20, 1922, James Buchanan Duke purchased a diamond wristwatch with a pearl band from the prestigious American jewelry house Charlton & Co., presumably as a Christmas present for his second wife, Nanaline. James, an industrialist and philanthropist, achieved wealth and recognition in the tobacco and electric industries, and he established educational, health, social, and religious institutional endowments. He died in 1925, leaving behind Nanaline and their 12-year-old daughter, Doris, to whom he left half his fortune, with the other half going to charity. On January 29, 1935, Nanaline commissioned Cartier to create a diamond watchband for the Charlton timepiece. As was customary in catering to significant clients, Pierre Cartier, head of the New York branch, personally handled her unusual request. Cartier complemented the square case with a diamond bracelet composed of circular and baguette-cut diamonds forming a cross pattern adjoining a stylized Indian lotus flower motif. Doris Duke inherited this bracelet, likely upon her mother’s death in 1962, along with the rest of Nanaline’s jewelry and a fur coat. An American icon, Doris followed her father’s philanthropic example, establishing one of the nation’s largest charitable foundations and donating more than $400 million over the course of her lifetime. An insatiable collector, she filled several houses with English and French furniture, Southeast Asian and Islamic art, and rare wines. Her most impressive—and most personal—collection was her jewelry, a mix of pieces inherited from her family and purchased over the years. The beautiful design of this watch epitomizes the refined elegance of the Art Deco period as expressed by two venerable American jewelry houses and will look stunning on any wrist. Provenance • Nanaline Duke • Doris Duke Literature • Zapata, Janet, et al. Gems from the East and West: The Doris Duke Jewelry Collection. New York: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, 2003, p. 42. Exhibition • Gems from the East and West: The Doris Duke Jewelry Collection, Rough Point, Newport, R.I., May 8–September 30, 2003; Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii, October 15–December 31, 2003, exhibit no. 27.


  • Creator
  • Metal
  • Stone
  • Stone Cut
  • Dimensions
    Width: .75 in. (19.05 mm)Length: 6.75 in. (171.45 mm)
  • Style
  • Place of Origin
    United States
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: F70991stDibs: LU2075211616162

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  • Shipping
    Free Shipping: Standard Parcel Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 1-3 weeks, excluding production time.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Designer


Perhaps 1847 was not the ideal time to open a new watchmaking and jewelry business, as the French Revolution was not kind to the aristocracy who could afford such luxuries. Nevertheless, it was the year Louis-François Cartier (1819–1904) — who was born into poverty — founded his eponymous empire, assuming control of the workshop of watchmaker Adolphe Picard, under whom he had previously been employed as an assistant. Of course, in the beginning, it was a relatively modest affair, but by the late 1850s, Cartier had its first royal client, Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, niece of Napoleon Bonaparte, who commissioned the jeweler to design brooches, earrings and other accessories.Under the leadership of Louis-François’s son, Alfred, who took over in 1874, business boomed. Royalty around the world wore Cartier pieces, including Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the Maharaja of Patiala and King Edward VII, who had 27 tiaras made by the jewelry house for his coronation in 1902 and issued Cartier a royal warrant in 1904. (Today, the British royal family still dons Cartier pieces; Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, regularly sports a Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch.)Cartier’s golden years, however, began when Alfred introduced his three sons, Louis, Pierre and Jacques, to the business. The brothers expanded Cartier globally: Louis reigned in Paris, Pierre in New York and Jacques in London, ensuring their brand’s consistency at their branches across the world. The trio also brought in such talents as Charles Jacqueau and Jeanne Toussaint.One of Cartier’s earliest major successes was the Santos de Cartier watch — one of the world's first modern wristwatches for men. (Previously, a large number of people were using only pocket watches.) Louis designed the timepiece in 1904 for his friend, popular Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who wanted to be able to check the time more easily while flying.Cartier’s other famous timepieces include the Tank watch, which was inspired by the linear form of military tanks during World War I, and the so-called mystery clocks. Invented by watchmaker and magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin and later crafted exclusively for Cartier in the house’s workshop by watchmaker Maurice Couët, the mystery clocks were so named because the integration of glass dials on which the clocks’ hands would seemingly float as well as structures that are hidden away within the base give the illusion that they operate without machinery.On the jewelry side of the business, Cartier’s internationally renowned offerings include the Tutti Frutti collection, which featured colorful carved gemstones inspired by Jacques’s trip to India and grew in popularity during the Art Deco years; the panthère motif, which has been incorporated into everything from brooches to rings; and the Love bracelet, a minimal, modernist locking bangle inspired by medieval chastity belts.While the Cartier family sold the business following the death of Pierre in 1964, the brand continues to innovate today, renewing old hits and creating new masterpieces. It’s certainly one of the most well known and internationally revered jewelers in the world among clients both existing and aspirational.On 1stDibs, find a growing collection of contemporary and vintage Cartier watches, engagement rings, necklaces and other accessories.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in New York, NY

Siegelson is a world-renowned gallery offering rare collectible jewels. Third-generation gem and jewelry dealer Lee Siegelson has been credited with bridging the gap between art and jewelry design, in the process transforming estate jewelry into a vibrant part of the luxury goods and collectibles world. Focusing on a piece’s design rat...

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Established in 1920
1stDibs seller since 2020
8 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 2 hours
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