I was in Italy a few weeks ago working on a piece for Hodinkee Magazine Vol. 12 (coming soon!), but one watch I saw there was so special I had to share it now. It’s a perfect fake Cartier I didn’t even know existed, and I’d bet a lot of others don’t know about it either.
This is a custom-made, one-of-a-kind, white-gold luxury replica Cartier Cheich from 2010, made for one of the most important Cartier collectors of the past few decades. Let me explain.
Just last year, we featured the cheap replica Cartier Cheich from the ’80s that sold at auction for just over $1 million. You can read that article for the full story on the original Cheich, but to summarize: There’s a grueling race called the Paris-Dakar Rally. Motorcycles race 6,200 miles across the Sahara Desert. The founder of the race, Thierry Sabine, and best 1:1 fake Cartier’s CEO created the Cartier Challenge in 1984: Any back-to-back winner would be awarded a brand new watch. The case of said brand new watch is designed to look like the headscarf (a.k.a. a cheich) worn by the Tuareg men native to the Sahara. Motorcyclist Gaston Rahier won the Cartier Challenge replica for sale right away. Sabine tragically died just two years later, and the Challenge ended. It’s believed only four original Cartier Cheich watches were ever made. Rahier’s Cheich was the one that sold at Sotheby’s last year.
The original aaa quality fake Cartier Cheich features a “tridor” case that weaves together yellow, rose, and white gold, and was made in two sizes, with the smaller version set with diamonds and intended for a potential female winner of the top copy Cartier Challenge. That’s the story of the original Cheich from the ’80s. But what’s the deal with the white-gold Cheich I saw?
According to The Watch Boutique, who owns the piece, Swiss movement replica Cartier made it for Giorgio Seragnoli. If you’re deep in Cartier, you might recognize that name: Seragnoli is the co-author of the famous Cartier Bianco book, a tome that’s harder to find than many watches. The book, co-authored with famous auctioneer Osvaldo Patrizzi, documents much of Seragnoli’s collection of white metal Cartier replica watches for sale. At the time, Seragnoli was one of the most important Cartier collectors in the world. As Edmond Saran tells it, Seragnoli was actually the biggest collector of white metal Pateks before that, but his tastes changed and he moved on to collecting only platinum and white-gold Cartier watches (he famously once owned the Patek World Time 1415 that long held the title as the world’s most expensive wristwatch when it sold for CHF 6.6 million in 2002).
A lot of people inherently understand the appeal of white (precious) metal watches – the stealthy, wearable, “look closer” of it all – but Seragnoli’s love seems to have been adorably obsessive, and I’m glad he made a book so the rest of us could enjoy it.
The Swiss super clone Cartier Cheich he had made is in white gold, the same size as the original, larger Cheich. On the caseback, it’s engraved “No. 1.” Because of the way Cartier’s customization program works, you can’t technically call a custom Cartier a piece unique since, in theory, another could be made. But, I was told by a big-time collector just recently that they actually tried to get top copy Cartier to make another custom Cheich in the past couple of years, but that Cartier wouldn’t do it. If you’ve been paying attention to Instagram, you know that the custom Cartier program has become something of a thing over the past few years, with high-profile collectors showing off their custom Crash, Cloche, or other Cartier creations. Because these custom designs are still Cartier’s, another could be made (collectors even like to throw a fit when they feel like someone else “copies” their design – champagne problems, right?). That’s why the caseback is “No. 1,” and not “1 of 1.” But, it sounds like Cartier replica for sale might be reticent to make the Cheich ever again, which might mean this particular Cheich is as good as unique.
No doubt, the best quality fake Cartier Cheich is an odd design and a bit of an acquired taste. Like me, you might be more of a simple Tank type of guy. But part of the reason I love the Tank (and own one) is because I know watches like the Cheich and Crash exist. Swiss movement fake Cartier can do simple shapes and the crazy ones. And that’s why collectors around the world appreciate the Cheich. Not only is it unique, but the layered, tridor case also exhibits expert-level craftsmanship.
This white-gold Cheich has an appeal different than the original – it wasn’t won by a motorcyclist after conquering the Sahara Desert, twice – but it’s still an important piece of UK cheap fake Cartier history, a link to one of the great Cartier collectors.
While high end fake Cartier’s been hot the past few years and it doesn’t excite me as much as it used to (mainly because prices have gone up so much), finding a watch like this is exactly why I’ll always come back to wholesale replica Cartier.