On 21 June 2017, Christie’s Auction House announced that the highly watched Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank realized $379,500 at Rare Watches and American Icons New York auction only just after three minutes of bidding and over a dozen individual public and private bids.
The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank was gifted to the First Lady from brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in on 23 February 1963, just nine months before 22 November 1963, when husband and President, John F. Kennedy was assassinated as he rode in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas.
Christie’s Auction of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank Realizes $379,500
Jackie Kennedy wore this Cartier Tank primarily during her life and she’s captured in many iconic photographs with the distinctively elegant Cartier Tank. The famed Cartier watch features caseback engraving “Stas to Jackie 23 Feb. 63 2:05 am to 9:35 pm.” referring to the start and stop times of Prince Radziwill’s famous 50-Mile Hike in Palm Beach to promote health awareness and physical fitness.
President Kennedy had asked the American people to adopt a practice of mental and physical fitness by completing the challenge of walking 50-Miles regularly. it was a practice which became popular for a time, encouraged mostly by the popularity of the President and the example of the First family and friends. At the height of the short-fad for long distance walking, Jackie Kennedy made an original painting of Stas Radziwill and Chuck Spalding as a gift for Prince Radziwill in commemoration of the hike with the dedication “February 23, 1963 2:05 am to 9:35 pm / Jackie to Stas with love and admiration”.
Kim Kardashian bid and won First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier Tank watch
The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank was estimated to fetch US$60,000 – $120,000 and according to TMZ, (editor’s note: Never would I imagine ever quoting TMZ as a source), the bid for Christie’s First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier watch was won by none other than Kim Kardashian. Apparently, after being robbed in Paris last year, Kardashian was looking to be “less flashy” – the Cartier Tank is widely considered to be an example of understated sophistication.
“Today’s New York sale of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank was a thrilling auction moment for our watch department and for the thousands of people that have been following the journey of this watch from its discovery to the monumental sale today. After three minutes of spirited bidding in the saleroom, online and by phone, the sale ultimately concluded at $379,500. The story of this watch is full of emotion, love and history and will surely be remembered for years to come. This watch is a true American Icon.” – John Reardon, International Head of Christie’s Watches
Kim Kardashian placed a secret bid for First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier watch, eventually winning the historic tank watch with a bid of US$379,500! Additionally, Kim Kardashian also placed bids for the accompanying Stas Radziwill and Chuck Spalding hike painting which was previously unknown to the public. Christie’s considers the Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier tank and painting to be two of the most important historical artifacts to surface in recent years from the golden era of the Kennedy Presidency.