Published: April 22, 2003
Private Collectors, Museums Make Geneva Watch Sale a $12.5 Million Success
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — Antiquorum, one of the world’s leading watch auctioneers, completed its first European auction of the 2003 season with a sale of Important Collector’s Watches, Wrist Watches, Clocks, Horological Tools & Documents.
Some $12,564,000 was achieved from just over 550 lots. International participation arrived via written bids, telephone bids, Internet bids and bids from the auction floor.
The top lot was a Patek Philippe “World Time” watch with two crowns, complete with an extract from the archives and original certificate. Produced in 1965 and originally sold in October 1974, it achieved $952,920.
Several world records were set. A Breguet perpetuelle 18K gold, minute-repeating, self-winding, with 60-hour power reserve, ball bearings and free-sprung helical balance spring, originally sold to a Mr Henry Perkins on May 28, 1821 for 5,000 francs; it achieved the second highest price of the day, a world record price of $754,920.
An extremely rare, stainless steel gentleman’s oversized wrist watch with square button chronograph, register and tachometer with a stainless steel Patek Philippe deployant clasp and certificate achieved a world record at $675,720.
The Tambourine Piguet et Meylan in 18K gold with superb images (attributed to Adam) painted on enamel, graduated split-pearl-and-turquoise-set center-seconds, quarter-repeating, musical watch that plays every hour or on demand and originally made for the Chinese market, circa 1820, achieved $517,320.
An 18K gold and silver large double-face, single-hand Bre-guet watch with special inking chronograph and ten-minute register, which was one of only two examples ever made by Breguet and was originally sold to Monsieur Arago on March 18, 1826 for 1,800 francs — sold for $477,720.
The smallest Tourbillon in the world, made in 1945 by Fritz- André Robert-Charrue, managed to achieve one of the biggest prices in the world, selling for $446,040.
Venus Binding the Wings of Cupid, Piguet & Meylan, an exceptional 18K gold and painted on enamel half-pearl-and-turquoise-set, musical center-seconds watch with two automaton musicians playing the harp and the lyre respectively, and playing every hour or on demand, achieved $446,040.
An 18K gold Patek Philippe & Cie, gentleman’s wristwatch, with square and coaxial button split-seconds chronograph, register, tacho-meter and 18K gold Patek Philippe buckle, which was originally retailed by E. Gübelin in Lucerne, sold for $351,000.
An exceptionally fine, rare, astronomic, minute-repeating, self-winding, 18K gold Patek Philippe & Cie, gentleman’s wristwatch with perpetual calendar, leap year indication and moon phases, produced in 1992, achieved $319,320.
An 18K gold, triple-train minute-repeating, Grande and Petite Sonnerie, Breguet clock-watch made in the Garde Temps tradition, with independent trains for the time, striking and chiming, and originally sold to Count Golovkin through Breguet’s agent Moreau for 300 francs on May 1,1810, sold for $255,960.
Other stars of the sale included Lacloche Frères’ exquisite and delicately carved Lalique glass pendant with miniatures painted by Paillet and movement by Vacheron Constantin, circa 1908. The pendant was the subject of fierce bidding between an American, a Japanese gentleman and the Vacheron Constantin Museum, with the museum finally achieving success for $156,960
All the Breguet documents achieved exceptional prices with many being purchased for the Breguet Museum including the rare portrait of Abraham-Louis Breguet painted by Jean Baptiste Isabey, circa 1820, which sold for $53,820, and a highly important “Produits de la Maison Breguet” four-page document that sold for $97,560.
The collection of Polish watches was a great success with every piece being much sought-after. The subject of very competitive bidding, particularly from the American market, this section achieved $244,800.
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