Collectors, amateurs, forget the usual and faithful star watches from the major watch auctions such as the Nautilus, Daytona, Royal Oak or other Monaco to look at perfect US Cartier replica watches. Indeed, the watches of the Parisian luxury house are now reaching new heights under the hammer. The proof by three with a first significant result in 2020 at Christie’s for a Crash in 18-carat yellow gold from 1990, sold for more than 200,000 euros. A record first broken at Sotheby’s for 1970 London Cartier Crash fake watches for sale sold for nearly 800,000 euros and a second time, more recently in May 2022 for a 1967 Crash, soaring to more than a million euros on the site online auction “Loupe This”.
Sotheby’s could well win a new auction record with the upcoming auction of a new reference signed Cartier. This is the legendary AAA US replica Cartier watches called “Cheich”. A legend since it is the first time that the piece – reasonably estimated between 200,000 and 400,000 euros – will go to auction. Without forgetting its unknown history as well as revolutionary design care for the time. This makes the “Cheich” one of the most sought-after high quality Cartier copy watches by collectors in search of rarity and authenticity.
A reference to history tinged with victories and drama
“The best Cartier ‘Cheich’ replica watches is extraordinary in many respects explains Benoît Colson, international fine watchmaking specialist at Sotheby’s. Its intimate link with the most famous car race in the world, made up of victories and dramas, holds the full attention of true collectors. While the process of creating unique luxury watches of this nature is both unprecedented and far-reaching, the Cartier “Cheich” was created well in advance – a feat. But it is above all the extreme audacity of the design of this top Cartier super clone watches which fascinates, unaltered 40 years after its conception, and the way in which Cartier has succeeded in completely reinventing what the House was the first to create: a wristwatch for pilots.”
We are in December 1978. Motorcyclist Thierry Sabine founded the first edition of the famous and perilous Paris-Dakar rally. An idea that came to him while he was taking part in the Abidjan-Nice race during which Sabine got lost in the Libyan desert. Captivated by the landscapes, he wants to share the magic of the place with other motor sports enthusiasts. Thus was born the Paris-Dakar, open to all, amateurs and professionals for an epic from Paris and ending its race 10,000 kilometers further, in Dakar, Senegal.
In 1983, and on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the rally, Alain Dominique Perrin, then president of Cartier and Thierry Sabine, launched the “Défi Cartier”. At his key? Cheap replica Cartier “Cheich” watches. A special trophy and a reward given to the first competitor to have won the rally twice in a row and in the same category (car, motorbike or truck). An almost impossible mission for the runners except for one of them: Gaston Rahier. A driver nicknamed “the little man with the immense reputation” – he was 1m57 tall – and considered one of the greatest champions in the history of motorsports. In 1983, he entered the Paris-Dakar for the first time on his BMW R80DS but had to give up after a fall. He set out again the following year and offered himself a first victory before celebrating a second success in 1985. He thus became the first and only winner of the “Défi Cartier”, since 1986 marked the end of the latter as well as stopping the production of the “Cheich”. This after the helicopter accident in Mali, caused by a sandstorm, which cost the life of Thierry Sabine as well as the singer Daniel Balavoine, also present on board.
Gaston Rahier was therefore the sole beneficiary of the luxury fake Cartier “Cheich” watches, hence its extreme rarity. It is this piece, kept until then by the descendants of the pilot and not appeared in public for more than 40 years, that Sotheby’s is dispersing today under the fire of auction. Swiss made Cartier replica watches with transgressive forms, in particular its case, which mixes white, yellow and pink gold, in homage to Cartier’s “Trinity” collections. Totally asymmetrical, the box is inspired by the rally logo but above all by the face of a Touareg wearing a chèche, the traditional veil wrapped around the head to protect against the sun. Only four models have thus seen the light of day, two of which are currently kept in the Cartier archives. Two references made in 1983 including that of Rahier as well as another for women. A third made in 1985 for a possible future champion and a fourth, offered to Thierry Sabine who then gave it to motorcycle rider Hubert Auriol, a piece now considered lost.