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Ultra-rare Cartier Crash London up for auction

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Cartier has created some of the most iconic watches of all time, with names as evocative as the designs: the Tank, inspired by the Renault tanks of WWI; the balloon-shaped Ballon; and the ovoid Baignoire, meaning ‘bathtub’ in French. It gives the maison’s timepieces a certain je ne sais quoi in the all-too dry world of horology.And then there’s the curious case of the Cartier Crash. If it’s your first time setting eyes on this surreal creation, you may be forgiven for assuming that the melting clocks of Salvador Dali’s iconic work the ‘Persistence of Memory’ was its inspiration, but you would be mistaken.Another rumour surrounding the origins of the Crash is that it stems from a car accident involving a senior Cartier executive. The story goes that when the motor caught fire, it caused the individual’s watch to melt into a quite irregular shape. Having taken it into Cartier London for repair work to be carried out, it’s said that the team were so taken with the unusual aesthetic that it served as the model’s inspiration. Sadly, it’s another tall tale.In her book, The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire, Francesca Cartier Brickell reveals that her grandfather Jean-Jacques Cartier created the watch alongside designer Rupert Emmerson to look as if it had indeed been in a crash – but no executives were harmed in the making of this imperfect wonder. The pair modified the Maxi Baignoire Allongée, distorting its oval shape into something quite unlike any other Cartier ever.Jean-Jacques Cartier created the watch alongside designer Rupert Emmerson to look as if it had indeed been in a crashYarek Baranik / Phillips WatchesYarek Baranik / Phillips WatchesLaunched in 1967 by Cartier London, the Crash became an instant icon and its limited releases continue to boast lengthy waiting lists to this day. But it’s the early models of the 1960s that garner the most attention at auction, thanks to the fact that precious few Crash watches were produced during this time period as a result of the complex process of hand shaping the case.Which brings us to the present example going under the hammer at the Phillips New York Watch Auction on 10 December. The watch is one of a very limited number of examples produced by Cartier London in early 1967. It features London hallmarks on the dial and caseback interior, as well as an original Cartier deployant buckle with similar London hallmarks. It’s further stamped ‘JC’ for Jean-Jacques Cartier.Best of all? The “Swiss Movement” engraved to the case back – a possibly unique feature not seen on other models.Estimate: $400k-$800k. See phillips.com

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties – Church Times

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties  Church Times

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The dwindling case for living in London

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The recent debate around ‘levelling up’ may be missing something. I would argue that there is another way to consider geographical inequality – and, by this alternative measure, a levelling has been under way for more than 20 years.

I’ve spent three decades working in advertising, so it’s unsurprising that I tend to view economic life through the lens of consumption. By contrast, mainstream economists tend to view disparities through the medium of earnings or wealth. To me, measures of wealth should include not only the quantity of money you have but the breadth of worthwhile options available in choosing how to spend it.

Let’s put it another way. If you live in a boring village, and suddenly a great pub or café opens on the high street, then by my measure you have become richer; by the economist’s measure you have not.

Things that would once have been available in London decades before the provinces now appear everywhereat once 

There was undoubtedly a time when you were richer in London in two ways. You had more money, but you also had a far more exciting range of ways to spend it. Now not so much.

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London is a great city but, in terms of consumption quality, it has not improved markedly in the past 20 years. Over the same period, many smaller cities and even towns have advanced rapidly, significantly narrowing the gap. The kind of things that would once have been available in the capital decades before making it to the provinces – like sushi – now appear everywhere at once. Consider Turkish barbers, who seem to have taken over the country in only five years. (I can remember a time when it was enough just to get a haircut without having burning methylated spirits flicked in my ears. Back then I just didn’t know any better.)

This levelling is especially true of anything in the digital world: Amazon gadgets, Netflix films, Asos fashions and PlayStation games hit Aberystwyth the same day they hit Islington. But it also applies to the physical environment, as anyone over 50 can attest. I went to Manchester and Sheffield for the first time in 1989. Compared with London, they were then, let’s be honest, utterly rubbish. Now, when I visit those same cities, I experience mild ‘northern envy’. There are interesting places open everywhere. Northerners have better cars, because they have more money left over after paying for housing. And they are much better-looking, because they can nip home to get changed before going out.

Relatively speaking, London has improved far less dramatically than these provincial cities have. (New York, many aficionados argue, has got worse.) OK, the Tube is better than it used to be. Uber is a handy addition. But some things are awful – the last pleasure of driving in London ended when they put speed cameras on the Westway. Accommodation costs for the young wipe out any salary gains.

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By my measure, high property prices won’t just hit Londoners once – they’ll hit them twice. Not only do high rents wipe out what you earn, they also put at risk London’s once unassailable advantage as a great place to spend what money you have left. Creative businesses of any kind require space at a price which allows them to take risks. For a time, London found this space by moving its heartland from west to east. But suppose the people supporting what Douglas McWilliams calls ‘the flat white economy’ flee altogether? In my own experience, Kent suddenly seems weirdly full of fascinating restaurants founded by London exiles. If more of these people leave, the case for staying weakens further.

Londoners always say things like ‘Yes but there’s the theatre’. Let’s face it though – even Shakespeare left London for Stratford in his mid-forties. As he no doubt found, the theatre is all very well, but it’s nothing like being able to park outside your house.

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Gentrification is not a sin

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Gentrification is not a sin – UnHerd

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