The selection of fascinatingly complicated pocket watches includes an exceptional, very handsome and possibly unique open-faced watch in yellow gold by Patek Philippe, never before seen at auction. This reference 926/1 Pellaton style one-minute tourbillon “Bulletin d’Observatoire” was made in 1929 – but only encased in 1984. (LOT 135, estimate : CHF 150,000 – 250,000 / US$ 154,000 – 256,000).
Another noteworthy piece is a timepiece whose story is intertwined with that of the Swiss-French classical pianist, Alfred Cortot.
This beautiful and very rare ultra-slim open-faced minute repeating watch in white gold, with perpetual calendar and moon phases was specially made for Cortot by the boutique L’Emeraude, in Lausanne (LOT 186, estimate : CHF 15,000 – 20,000 / US$ 15,400 – 20,500).
Dated 1909 is a stunning yellow gold open-faced minute repeating split seconds chronograph watch by Patek Philippe belonged to American railway entrepreneur Theodore P. Shonts (1852-1919). (LOT 127, estimate : CHF 35,000 – 45,000 / US$ 35,800 – 46,000).
Rare vintage wristwatches
In production from 1950 onwards, Patek Philipe’s reference 2499 is one of the most important in the history of the manufacturer, with only 349 examples produced. In May, collectors will be able to discover an extremely rare example of this reference in yellow gold, with perpetual calendar and moon phases. (LOT 332, estimate : CHF 200,000 – 300,000 / US$ 205,000 – 307,000).
Vintage timepieces are also represented by a fine and very rare example in stainless steel of Rolex’s celebrated chronograph wristwatch reference 6036, “Jean-Claude Killy”, with triple calendar, day date and registers, dating from 1952. (LOT 285, estimate : CHF 80,000 – 120,000 / US$ 82,000 – 123,000).
Modern watches with storied provenance
Among the finest wristwatches on offer during the auction, this piece is the reflection of the exacting standards of one of the greatest watch collectors of our time: Eric Clapton. This exquisite and possibly unique pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, reference, 5970, was in production for only six years and features Breguet numerals. (LOT 200, estimate: CHF 120,000 – 220,000 / US$ 123,000 – 225,000).
Collectors with a passion for the finest diving watches will no doubt be intrigued by a rare stainless steel centre seconds wristwatch by Rolex, specially developed for COMEX.(LOT 90, estimate: CHF 40,000 – 60,000 / US$ 40,900 – 61,500), as well as a rare and special-order centre seconds Rolex Submariner, reference 116610, made for the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SSR). (LOT 94, estimate CHF 15,000 – 25,000 / US$ 15,400 – 25,600).
High complication moderns wristwatches
Among standout examples is an extremely fine and rare platinum and pink gold automatic minute repeating semis-skeletonised perpetual calendar wristwatch by Patek Philippe, with retrograde date, moon phases and leap year indication. (LOT 316, estimate: CHF 450,000 – 550,000 / US$ 460,000 – 565,000).
The elegance and technical sophistication of Patek Philippe are also showcased in an extremely rare and important platinum minute repeating instantaneous perpetual calendar tourbillon wristwatch, reference 5207P.(LOT 123, estimate: CHF 570,000 – 670,000 / US$ 585,000 – 685,000).
Experienced collectors will recognise the importance of another modern timepiece by Patek Philippe: an extremely fine and rare white gold automatic astronomical wristwatch with sky chart phases and position of the moon, reference 5102G. (LOT 122, estimate: CHF 150,000 – 250,000 / US$ 154,000 – 256,000).
Sotheby’s Geneva, Wednesday 13 May 2015
13, quai du Mont-Blanc, 1201 Genève
tel. +41 22 908 48 00
Session 1: 10:30 am (lots 1-151)
Session 2: 14:30 pm (lots 152-332)
Saturday 9 May, 10am – 6pm
Sunday 10 May, 10am – 6pm
Monday 11 May, 10am – 6pm
Tuesday 12 May, 10am – 6pm