After a two-year stint with Sotheby’s New York in the early 1970s, Harry Fane spent a further two years dealing in contemporary American Art. It was there, and through the influence of a close friend that his interests shifted to 20th century objets d’art.
While initially non-specific, Harry and his partner soon found a niche for the works of art created by Cartier, pre-1960. Since 1980, Harry Fane has bought and sold some of the most beautiful and important jewels, watches and art made by Cartier. Harry’s secret passion is for the Cartier Tank and continues to take great pleasure in finding ever more rare examples with great provenance.
Here Harry shares some thoughts on his collection and the Cartier Tank.
Where does your interest in watches originate from?
It was an evolutionary process really. My family is involved in the art world and that’s how I started working for Sotheby’s. To be brutally honest, I was not madly enamored with the job, but my partner at the time introduced me to the wonderful world of Cartier and its fascinating history.
As an objets d’art dealer it wasn’t long before I progressed to wristwatches — fundamentally an appreciation of the aesthetic.
What was the first watch you owned?
You may be surprised to hear that it wasn’t a Cartier Tank! It was actually a classic, a 1972 ‘Pepsi’ Rolex GMT Master.