Vintage & Auctions

Spring Auctions: revealing our selection of watches at Sotheby’s and Antiquorum

We had a great time this season while viewing the watches upcoming at auction in Geneva. The atmosphere was relaxed and experts looking confident with the sale that they have brought together. Below is the selection of watches that caught our attention.

Sotheby’s Important Watches | Geneva auction, 13 May 2015 10:30 am

Lot 115 – Patek Philippe Nautilus "Albino" Prototype 3700/1

This “Albino” prototype, as attested by the Patek Philippe extract, is a unique example of a Nautilus reference 3700/1 with a white dial and a spare black dial. It is important to note that both dials are bearing the same engravings to their back. The white dial was made on special request by the original owner and was made by Stern Frères now Stern Créations. We are sure it will be a new record for a Nautilus !

Lot 135 – Patek Philippe 926/1 “Bulletin d’Observatoire”

An impressive pocket watch featuring a silvered dial as opposed to the other masterpiece of the sale with detent escapement (lot 133) that features an enamel dial. A work of art with a story that is worth digging into and that will probably be related in a further article. To be followed... 

Lot 171 – Patek Philippe 4363/1

For the only lady’s watch of our selection we picked a beautiful turquoise and diamond-set watch mounted on yellow gold. The result is simply stunning and enhanced by its rarity. Preserved in excellent condition, its current and first owner clearly had a preference for the earrings as attested by some signs of wear. 

Lot 186 – Audemars Piguet “A l’Emeraude”

Offered by the family of Alfred Cortot (1877 – 1962), the famous Franco-Swiss pianist bought the present watch at the prestigious Lausanne store “A l’Emeraude” in Switzerland. Bringing these three highly acknowledged names together is raising this beautifully aged timepiece to an uncompeted level of quality as a collector’s watch. We love the inside back engraved with the retailer’s name.

Lot 214 – Eberhard & Co split-second chronograph

This large split-second chronograph is definitely worth a look. Not only it features the highly desirable split-second chronograph complication but it also shows a nicely aged dial where the varnish is crackled. Its future owner will give special care to the case that is showing some light signs of oxidation underneath the case back.  

Lot 215 – Longines & Wittnauer oversized aviator’s wristwatch

The rarity on this watch, bearing import mark LXW on the balance cock, is clearly linked to the condition of its enamel dial showing no hairline although these dials were surprisingly mounted on these watches. Indeed, they mostly underwent intense condition of use. The condition of this example comes as a blessing to the savvy collector.

Lot 216 – Leonidas split-second single button chronograph Valjoux 55

Despite the condition of the dial with a hole at 10.30 that leaves open the question to what happened to it, the present oversized chronograph remains very attractive and a rare find.

Antiquorum Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces | Geneva auction, 10 May 2015 10:00 pm

Lot 87 – Audemars Piguet for Dürrstein & Co.

One always feels the same in front of such a demonstration of know-how. Quite unique to Audemars Piguet, the manufacture proudly announces to have produced at least one “Grande Complication” per year without interruption since their first year of existence. Even more exclusive, this heavy and highly complicated wristwatch impresses with a 21’’’ movement made following the “Glashütte” style. 

Lot 181 – Patek Philippe 963

What could make more sense than the alliance of James Pellaton and Patek Philippe to build such a unique tourbillon wristwatch? Encased later on request by its latest owner, a sapphire glass was applied to its back to allow its owner admire the movement as often as desired. The present wristwatch is a rare opportunity to acquire a witness of Patek Philippe’s extensive know-how.

Lot 359 – Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso General MacArthur

The present example should not be considered for its horological attribute but rather as a commemorative object of an important period in history. Offered by the family of General Douglas MacArthur, it bears his initial to the back of the watch.

Lot 384 – Louis Audemars for Leroy

The ultra-complicated movement of this wristwatch is highlighted by a richly decorated case. The engraving to the inside back adds a modern feel to this nearly 100 year old timepiece. Truly a Museum’s piece, only few people can pride themselves for owning such a masterpiece including 11 complications and furthermore offered for the first time at auction by the family of the Count Santamaria de Paredes who himself received it from King Alphonse XIII of Spain. 

Lot 412 – Rolex 6305 Joyeria Riviera left-handed

Beautifully enhanced by the retailer’s signature Joyeria Riviera, this reference 6305 is a rare example of a Rolex left-handed Datejust.  Overall preserved in good condition.

Lot 418 – Rolex Daytona 6239 retailed by Tiffany & Co

Appearing at auction right when Tiffany & Co is opening a store in Geneva, this reference 6239 retailed by Tiffany & Co is very attractive. The later added strap fits perfectly the style of the watch for a distinguished but casual look. 

Lot 468 – Rolex Day-Date Qaboos 18038 

Probably amongst the rarest of all stella dials offered at auction this season, this burgundy dial was beautifully adorned with the rare green Qaboos signature that was kept for specific use as the highest mark of consideration for the person who was presented the timepiece.

Lot 487 – Patek Philippe Nautilus "Willy Engal" 3700/1 

This Nautilus deserves a special mention for the initials finely engraved on its bezel that confers the watch an elegant look. To be worn with the matching shirt.

Lot 504  - Patek Philippe 2499 Tiffany & Co.

Another example in the sale of a timepiece retailed by Tiffany & Co appearing right when the brand is opening a new store in Geneva, this reference 2499 was preserved in excellent condition. This should lead to fierce bidding both from the room and on the telephone. 

AUCTION CATALOGUES: Sotheby's & Antiquorum


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