Christie’s is pleased to announce that The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank realized $379,500 at auction on June 21st at the Rare Watches and American Icons New York sale after three minutes of bidding and over a dozen individual bids.
Originally given to Jackie from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in 1963, she wore this Cartier Tank for decades, which can be seen on her wrist in many iconic photos. (Estimate: $60,000 – $120,000). The watch features the engraving: “Stas to Jackie 23 Feb. 63 2:05 am to 9:35 pm.” The times refer to the start and stop times of the famous 50-Mile Hike in Palm Beach in 1963.
The watch was accompanied by an original painting that Jackie made in 1963 as a gift for Stas Radziwill celebrating the hike with the dedication “February 23, 1963 2:05 am to 9:35 pm / Jackie to Stas with love and admiration”.
The 50-mile hike became a short-lived fad in early 1963 after President Kennedy publicly asked the American people to accept the mentally and physically grueling challenge of walking this long distance. His inner circle of family and friends were some of the first to attempt the hike including his friends Stas Radziwill and Chuck Spalding, featured in the painting.
This watch and the accompanying painting, previously unknown to the public, are two of the most important historic artifacts to surface in recent years from the golden era of the Kennedy Presidency.
John Reardon, International Head of Christie’s Watches:“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.”