Sold by Antiquorum in 2002 for CHF 993k.
According to the lot description when Antiquorum sold this best replica Tortue Minute Repeater in 2002, this was the “only minute repeating watch known to have been made by luxury UK sale fake Cartier during the Art Deco era” (more on that claim in a minute). The yellow gold watch was entered into AAA best replica Cartier’s registers in 1929 and eventually sold in 1931. It features Breguet blue steel hands and a movement signed by European Watch & Clock Co., a common supplier of Swiss made copy Cartier’s movements during the era. The slide on the left side of the case triggers the gongs which chime the time.
According to Antiquorum, this super clone watch has also been published in books, and previously appeared in an Antiquorum catalog from 1982. As far as I can tell, this 1:1 excellent fake Cartier Tortue Minute Repeater holds the record for the highest result ever achieved by a vintage Cartier replica at auction.
Sold by Antiquorum in 2004 for $640.5k.
Two years after selling the above Minute Repeater for nearly one million Swiss francs, Antiquorum sold this one for $640.5k. According to the auction house, this one dates to 1928, a year prior to the previously sold example — making it the first known AAA practical fake Cartier Minute Repeater. Like the first example, the caliber in this one was also manufactured by European Watch & Clock Co. It is interesting to point out that two years after the auction house claimed it’d found the “only high-quality replica Cartier minute repeater from the Art Deco era,” (and so confirmed by the super clone Cartier archives), it managed to find another one. It shows how knowledge and scholarship continues to evolve over the years.
Engravings always provide another avenue of discovery, and this example is carved “X. M. Audibert, Union Club, New York City” on the caseback. A few minutes of googling reveal Mr. Audibert purchased a house at 9 E 79th St in New York in 1939 (in fact, he may have been a bit of a real estate mogul). It looks like that building, originally built in 1928, is still standing just across the street from The Met (the penthouse floors just sold for $7m). I don’t know, it’s pretty cool that this Mr. Audibert is long gone, but his condo is still standing and his minute repeater is still striking.
Antiquorum offered this high imitation watch at auction again in 2007, but that time around the lot is listed as unsold.