Robb Design Portfolio: Time Traveler
Form meets function in a vintage Cartier clock.
At the turn of the last century, journeys were leisurely affairs for well-to-do Europeans and Americans. Any proper trip—whether by ocean liner or railway car—included first-class accommodations, trunk-loads of clothing, and such personalized accessories as this bedside rock-crystal travel clock, which Cartier’s artisans carved by hand in 1910. Estate jewelry specialists Stephen Russell (212.570.6900, www.stephenrussell.com) recently acquired the mint-condition clock and its leather carrying case from a dealer in Paris. Priced at $95,000, the timepiece is adorned with enamel, platinum, and diamonds. "The quality of the craftsmanship is incredible," says Stephen Feuerman, who co-owns the store with Russell Zelenetz. "It is amazing that they could carve rock crystal so smoothly and perfectly without the use of machinery." Indeed, the workmanship is so remarkable that one can easily forget the original function of this timeless objet d’art: to keep its globe-trotting owner on schedule.