Exceptional collection of 330 timepieces, covering 200 years of watchmaking history, will be offered at the Sotheby’s Geneva Auction of Important Watches to be organized on November 12, 2013. The highlight of the auction will be a pocket watch produced in 1831 by Breguet, which is the nice memorial to the father of modern watchmaking, Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823). Besides this extremely rare model, currently in the possession of the famous collector Sir Richard Wallace’s descendents, the Sotheby’s autumn sale will offer a great number of valuable pocket watches, vintage and modern wristwatches, as well as rare complicated models.
The absolute highlight among vintage wristwatches is a rare Patek Philippe’s Ref. 1518 model from 1951 which is the first perpetual calendar wristwatch created in series by the renowned watchmaker. This exceptional timepiece that also features a moon-phase complication is estimated from $162,000 to $270,000.
The models that will most probably be highly sought-after by vintage watch aficionados are two chronographs from the 1940s: a very rare Rolex stainless steel model from 1940 which is estimated from $27,000 to $37,800, and Audemars Piguet’s Chronograph from 1941, made of stainless steel and pink gold, with the estimated price from $16,200 to $27,000. Another rare model from 1940, a stainless steel diving watch produced by Rolex for Officine Panerai, has the starting price of $32,400.
As I have already mentioned, the most significant model in the valuable collection of pocket timepieces is a highly complicated Breguet’s creation, bought by Lord Henry Seymour Conway in Paris, in 1831. This gold, half quarter repeating pocket watch also features an equation of time, a power reserve, a calendar and a moon phase based on chronometer principles, which is a very unusual number of complications for this period. The fact that only three timepieces from this era created by the famous French watchmaker present this combination of complications and a design contributes to the stunning value of this model which is estimated from $650,000 to $1,080,000.
Since the event pays homage to Breguet, Sotheby’s selected number of private items of both Abraham-Louis Breguet and his son Antoine Louis is going to be offered at the auction. This interesting collection presents an oil portrait and a bronze bust of Abraham-Louis Breguet dating respectively from 1800 and 1830, as well as his son’s notebook from 1820, including sketches, watchmaking plans and notes about his life and work.
Going back to pocket watches, you will find an exceptional Patek Philippe Minute Repeater chronometer from 1985, created in only two examples. This masterpiece of the haute horology is estimated from $108,000 to $216,000. Furthermore, the collection includes Vacheron Constantin’s yellow gold chronograph chronometer from 1925, which is another extremely rare timepiece with a combination of a perpetual calendar, a minute repetition and a split seconds chronograph (estimated price: $86,500-$130,000).
Those who prefer contemporary watches will also find an exceptional choice of horological masterpieces. The one with the highest expected price is Richard Mille’s prototype of the RM038 “Bubba Watson” from 2011. This high-end skeletonized tourbillon with a magnesium case will have a starting price of $303,000. Another high-end watch is signed by F.P Journe. This Grande and Petite Sonnerie model from 2006 is estimated from $270,000 to $378,000.
Among complicated modern watches, there is a Patek Philippe’s split seconds chronograph made of platinum which is estimated from $195,000 to $303,000 and a stunning Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 370 watch, inspired by the luxury automobile which will have the starting price of $43,200.