Pierre Cardin Espace
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
In contemporary watch collecting, the radical designs of the 1970s are often overlooked in favor of the classic silhouettes of the 1950s and 1960s. And we think that’s a shame.
Back in the Grooviest Decade, industrial designers, fashion houses, and creatives of all stripes were experimenting with Space Age shapes inspired by man’s journey into…well…space! The Moon Landings of 1969 occupied the zeitgeist for decades to come — indeed, if you’re an Omega Speedmaster collector, they still do — and saw the creation of art that departed from the restrained, midcentury norms of the day into something flamboyant, colorful, and fun.
1970s watchmaking proved no exception to this playful experimentation. Pierre Cardin, a then-highly influential figure in womenswear who licensed his eponymous maison’s name to all sorts of products, created a line of 26 androgynous timepieces cased in plastic and steel and powered by hand-wound movements from Jaeger. Unlike contemporary pieces from the likes of Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe — which were often cased in precious metals — these funky watches remain highly affordable.
This particular Pierre Cardin Espace is housed in a 33.5mm modified rhomboid-shaped, stainless steel case with a smooth, silver-toned bezel, a hidden, unsigned crown at 3 o’clock, an acrylic crystal, a round, matte silver dial with faintly painted silver indices at the cardinal positions, and a silver ‘baton’ handset. Powered by the manually wound FHF36 movement from Fabrique d'Horlogerie Fontainemelon, a Swiss ébauché manufacturer that was eventually subsumed into ETA in 1985, it bears the ‘Jaeger’ signature on its caseback, attesting to its French — rather than Swiss — origins.
Paired to a black leather one-piece strap with contrasting top stitching and a stainless steel pin buckle, this avant garde timepiece mixes traditional watchmaking elements with design touches scarcely seen in today's more traditional horological atmosphere.
If that sort of thing speaks to your inner disco sensibilities, then reach out to us today!
However, Cardin quickly made clear that high fashion wasn’t the be-all, end-all of his career. In 1971 the respected designer launched the Espace Collection of watches based on space age motifs, incorporating hand-wound movements from LeCoultre into futuristic cases in shapes that would make even a dedicated futurist’s head spin. Wild and uncompromising, these timepieces wear just as outlandish as the shaped watches then hailing from haute horlogerie maisons such as Patek Philippe and Piaget — but they were much more affordable.
Today, Cardin’s watches remain largely relegated to the fringes of collectible horology, though famed, notable collectors such as Auro Montanari (‘John Goldberger’) have been advocating for them for years. Made of steel, plastic, vinyl, and other distinctly ’70s materials, they’re a testament not only to the forward-thinking nature of the Italo-French designer’s creative mind, but fun, left-of-center design objects in and of themselves — and they’re available at terrific prices.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Pierre Cardin Espace