Harry Fane was interviewed and featured in November 2019 by A Collected Man as part of their esteemed “Obsessions” series.
Driven by a passion for horology and the pursuit of beautiful things, A Collected Man is a platform for those who love and seek rare mechanical timepieces. Be it a handmade example of perfection, or a piece of vintage racing glory, rare watches unite appreciators of truly great design, history and detail. Where it was once the preserve of a small group of like-minded enthusiasts, watch collecting has exponentially grown into something far more telling; a lifestyle choice.
The man who may know more about Cartier than Cartier – for their latest instalment of Obsessions, Harry spoke about everything from hunting down treasures in Indian palaces to finding them new homes with oil-rich Venezuelan barons, sharing tales of a life driven by his search and passion for vintage Cartier. Thank you, A Collected Man, for the wonderful article. You can read the interview in full on their website, or see some excerpts below.
“Known as the man who may know more about Cartier than Cartier, Harry Fane has been obsessed with the historic jeweller for over 40 years. Since 1978, he has been dealing exclusively in vintage Cartier collectables and watches, especially those from the jeweller’s golden era from 1919 to 1939. Within the confines of his Mayfair office, we sat down with Harry to hear more about what drives him and get the opportunity to handle some exceptional pieces, including some iconic wristwatches such as the Cintrée or the Crash. From hunting down treasures in Indian palaces to finding them new homes with oil-rich Venezuelan barons, he shares tales of a life driven by his search and passion for vintage Cartier.”
“We were very drawn to the Cartier aesthetic but we weren’t jumping on a bandwagon. There was no bandwagon.
“In the ‘60s, there was a big turmoil inside Cartier. They were changing ownership and they were going towards the mass market. This was a brilliant idea and they were the first people to really do it successfully. One of the things that I admire about Cartier today is that, even though we now know Cartier is a different business, if you go home to your wife or your girlfriend, and you say, “Here, I’ve just been to Cartier and I’ve bought you this,” when they get the box, there’s no doubt their heart beats a little bit faster. Cartier has retained the cachet which is amazing.”
“I got to spend a lot of time in their Archives which was incredibly educational. From that point onwards, I was responsible for finding some really major pieces.”
Read the article in full on A Collected Man’s website.
Photographs © A Collected Man.