By on February 27, 2012

In our last episode of Name That Car Clock, we admired the Jeco analog timepiece out of a 1978 Toyota Corona wagon. That was quite a clock, but it looks pretty drab next to today’s entry. This should be a pretty easy call for you students of the Malaise Era (there’s a hint), so let’s hear your best guess about year/make/model for this designer-edition clock. Answer after the jump!

1976 Lincoln Continental Mark IV

Yeah, this was an easy one, since Cartier only put their clocks— which, judging from the build quality, cost about $1.64 apiece— in Ford products during the middle 1970s. No, this one doesn’t work. I have never found a Cartier Lincoln clock that worked, and I’ve tested plenty. Be honest— what car did you think produced this clock?

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29 Comments on “Name That Car Clock: Extremely Classy Cartier Analog...”

  • avatar

    I knew what it was from as soon as I saw it, my grandparents had a 1976 Mark IV that I featured on CC. And yes, the clock still worked :)

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    I called it out, too, as soon as I saw it…first, knew it would be from a “Cartier edition” Lincoln Mark. The only question was, what year. Malaise ers was Carter administration….knew it has to be a 1976 because those were the most baroque,the most ostentatious, the most obscenely silly vehicles Lincoln ever made….

    Called it. Ya gotta make ’em harder than that, Murilee.

    • 0 avatar

      Surely, if the term “malaise era” must be used (although I don’t like it myself), it must encompass the Gerald Ford (“Whip Inflation Now”) presidency too, and perhaps the last 10 months of Nixon’s as well; I myself waited in gas lines in fall ’73 as a teenager and saw gas prices rise an astonishing 60-65% (to 52 cents a gallon for premium) by spring ’75.

      I always thought the “most baroque,the most ostentatious, the most obscenely silly vehicles Lincoln ever made” were the 1958-60 line, especially the Continental series (Mark III/IV/V, respectively). Any unibody car that big is obscenely silly by definition.

      • 0 avatar

        The term “malaise” in context of the late Seventies economic misery grew out of a speech by Carter on July 15, 1979 that became known as his “Malaise Speech” that lifted his approval rating to a 37%.

        Although Carter did not use the term “malaise” in his speech, one central theme was a “crisis in confidence” obliquely suggesting the citizenry’s lack of confidence in his policies were somehow responsible for the abject failure of Carter’s economic and energy policies, and presumably for the failures overseas (e.g. the Iranian embassy staff’s extended vacation as Khomeini’s guests).

        Economies run on confidence. This was akin to Carter standing amid the wreckage of a 747 and proclaiming in presidential tones “This is a crisis of gravity”

        Me thinks there was a more proximate cause for the economic misery of the late seventies, double digit unemployment, double digit inflation, double digit mortgage rates . . .

        Sixteen months later this “crisis in confidence” manifested itself as 49 states declined Carter a second term to continue his policies that have been and always will be perfectly sound excepting for a lack of public support.

        Thus began the longest post WWII economic boom.

      • 0 avatar

        RalphS: Yes, I know about Carter’s so-called malaise speech. I’m not a Carter apologist, but your example of overseas failure (the Iranian hostage crisis) didn’t begin until four months after the speech. Also, it was Mondale who lost 49 states (in 1984), not Carter in 1980.

      • 0 avatar

        Knock me over with a feather. A reasoned, historically accurate reply. Ten points for you.

        Carter lost by 44 states in 1980. Not quite 49, but a solid landslide.

        The US embassy was taken hostage a few days after Sec of State Warren Christopher completed an official state visit with Khomeini’s new regime.

        Google Christopher and picture a man of such presence meeting with Eighth century barbarians.

        Khomeini’s nascent regime felt a complete lack of confidence in Carter’s ability to mount a resolute, effective response to the embassy seizure and taking US citizens hostage.

        Conversely, Khomeini released the hostages the day Carter left office.

        The myriad of crises visited upon the US by the Carter administration didn’t begin and end with one speech.

        Indeed, the Community Reinvestment Act was loosed upon the country in 1977, the full effects of which were not realized until just recently.

  • avatar

    SLOW DOWN! YOU’RE GOING 110 MILES PER— oh, never mind, it’s just twenty minutes past one o’clock.

    Judging from that instrument panel, I guess squares were considered very luxurious in 1976.

  • avatar

    I guessed ’77 Lincoln. Partial credit?

    • 0 avatar

      Hope so — I guessed ’75. I think the clock was identical throughout the Mark IV’s run.

      @Murilee — there was a Cartier town car available through 2003, believe it or not.

  • avatar

    I knew this one on sight, but that Corona clock had me completely stumped.

  • avatar

    Think for a second on the decision to place a clock of the same size next to a speedometer, in any car. Is time as important as speed or mileage traveled? More important than engine speed or fuel?
    I remember tic toc tachs which combined engine speed with time of day. your best 1/4 mile times were by shifting at quarter past 3

    • 0 avatar

      This alone shows Ford lost the plot in the ’70s. My ’77 Chevelle has the clock to the right of the driver, on top of the (and I use the term loosely here) center stack. It’s visible throughout the whole car and is pretty much the first thing the center front seat occupant will nail their head on in a crash.

      I have a clock for it, and it does work, after cleaning it. It’s not terribly accurate though, about +- 5 minutes a week.

    • 0 avatar

      I recall the VW typ III had a clock next to the speedometer, the same size. This was common on German vehicles of the time. Of course, in Yurp, the space could be occupied by an optional tach or something.

      • 0 avatar

        I have a 78 and 79 Malibu. The latter a factory-manual coupe, the former a V6 auto model sedan. Where the big-as-the-speedo clock resides in the sedan, sits a tach in the coupe, that houses a very small clock at the bottom.

        Neither work.

  • avatar

    I wonder if the clocks in a Bill Blass, Emilio Pucci, Hubert de Givenchy Lincoln were any different.

  • avatar

    Could you get a Gucci clock with an AMC? I know the Gucci Hornets came with a special key fob and pouch/purse to carry it in.

  • avatar

    It’s fitting and telling that all the Cartier clocks in Lincolns are broken while you’ve found working clocks in the Toyotas… Style vs. Substance right there. The essence of the era.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    The most retro touch in the LX 300? The clock.

  • avatar

    Was time such an important driving instrument that they devote so much dash real estate, the premium one in front of the driver no less, to an analog clock? What next, a cuckoo clock? In dash grandfather’s clock? I suppose it’s to give the driver something to do, watching the needles ticked by, as the cars struggles to achieve highway speed.

  • avatar

    Judging by the style before I hit the jump, I knew it was American in origin, due to the style of the face, but could not really place, at first who might have had it, then I thought, perhaps Ford?

    I was right, but not which model it’d come from though.

    It’s an interesting timepiece none the less.

  • avatar

    Gotta know what time it is, to keep the pimp hand strong.

  • avatar

    It’s not a Cartier, but the rtating clock on my 78 Colony Park Wagon actually works.

    • 0 avatar

      my parents ’84 Olds had that clock, about every two years or so I’d take it apart and re-stake the shaft all the numbers rode on to keep it working. It also worked the skin off my thumbs on time changes

  • avatar

    Clock placement in the dash is a rather interesting subject. For a time, Ford was centering anything with information directly in front of the driver to make it seem more like an aircraft cockpit. This included the radio and heater controls.They even used the a horseshoe-style shifter for the automatic console like an airplane throttle. One of the notable exceptions was the ‘rallye’ clock in the ’69-’70 Mustang that was oddly in the pod directly in front of the passenger.

    In the luxo-barges, a tachometer or any useful analog gauges would be silly. More importantly, they would be more expensive than idiot lights. So all that was left was a speedo, fuel gauge, idiot lights, and a clock.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    I seem to have a (possibly false) memory of seeing a similiarly bogus Cartier clock in some other malaise era Chrysler corp. car- possibly the early eighties bustleback Imperial coupe a friend’s dad had or a similiar age New Yorker a co-worker had though either may have been a cheezy copy with “Chrysler” on it instead of Cartier. And the two-toned woodgrain dash on the Mark IV- how bad people’s taste was back then- almost but not quite as awful as the contemporary Cadillac. I remember riding a few times in somebody’s Mark IV or V in this era but didn’t remember it being quite so craptastic.

  • avatar
    CA Guy

    My Dad purchased a new 1978 Lincoln Mark V Cartier Edition. I think he had it about 7 years or so. The Cartier clock always worked. I remembered it as nicer than the one in this picture so I pulled out the original brochure. From the detailed picture under Standard Equipment, it looks like they dressed the clock up a bit for the Mark V. The center background is no longer black but has a kind of brushed aluminum look (plastic no doubt) and in the center is the Continental insignia in gold against a small black insert. The Cartier signature also is in gold. The Mark V Cartier Edition had a very nice interior, champagne leather with dark red accents. Dad’s car was purchased in the midwest so he had the 460 (in CA you got the 400), a great engine. Actually everything on the car continued to work (including the 8 track, CB radio, power antenna, etc) except the headlight doors that were repaired a number of times. IIRC they lost vacuum, froze in the winter, etc.

  • avatar

    This is what I see:

    A plastic clock with a Frenchy name as large as the speedometer in a $12,000 car from the mid 1970s.

    It is a pretty clock. It might be utterly fake, but it is a pretty fake clock. It might not tell time correctly, but it is a pretty fake unreliable clock. Expecting a diamond bracelet to be a watch because you wear it on your wrist isn’t logical, but a diamond bracelet is still pretty, whether it can tell you the time, or not.

    To place such an unrealiable fake bauble as large as the speedometer in any car demonstrates to me a big need to make a statement. And that statement is…

    This vehicle is so luxurious you don’t have to know anything more than when to have your filling station attendant refill your tank, and how fast your luxurious car is traveling. This left room on the instrument panel for this elegant and useless clock designed by a fashion house with an expensive French sounding name.

    If you must depend upon it telling you the correct time, then you obviously don’t fully appreciate the elegant statement this luxury car makes. Time doesn’t matter when you are the center of the universe, right?

  • avatar

    Well, I didn’t recognize it. But I did remember an article I read on the design and possible repair of Lincoln-Cartier clocks, here it is:

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