In the run-up to what will inevitably be two highly exciting days for collectors, interest in pocket watches, vintage watches and genuinely exceptional timepieces is palpable. Auctioneers have scoured the world for items worthy of coming under their hammer; items that must respect five essential criteria: diversity, rarity, perfect condition, known provenance and a correct estimate. Some thrilling moments are in store.
Proceedings will get under way on Sunday May 15th at Antiquorum. Note that there will be just one session during which 579 lots will be put on the block, mainly modern and vintage watches by various brands, and a small series of Jaeger-LeCoultre clocks. Marking the Reverso’s 80th anniversary, Antiquorum will auction 30 of these timepieces, including original models from 1931, the year Jaeger-LeCoultre imagined this iconic watch for the rough and tumble of a polo match. The star among them will doubtless be a set of four delicately enamelled “Mucha’s Four Seasons”, a limited edition from 1996 (lot 255; est. CHF 60,000-80,000 / US$ 68,650-91,500 / €46,550-62,000).
An Antiquorum sale always includes an important selection of Rolex watches, and the May auction is no exception with an “Oyster Perpetual Date Explorer” ref. 1655 from 1974, featuring the “Spade of Oman” logo (lot 535; est. CHF 100,000-150,000 / US$ 114,400-172,000 / €77,250-115,900). Another two lots to follow are the Patek Philippe Ref. 130 from 1941, a steel chronograph with square pusher and tachometer scale (lot 567; est. CHF 150,000-200,000 / US$ 172,000-228,800 / €115,900-154,500), and the Patek Philippe Ref. 5970G from 2006 in white gold (lot 512; est. CHF 100,000-150,000 / US$ 114,400-172,000 / €77,250-115,900).
Among the vintage timepieces proposed is a Breguet carriage clock with 10 complications, the most complicated of the eleven Breguet hump-back carriage clocks which are known to exist, purchased in 1878 by the Marquise de Béthisy (lot 549; est. CHF 150,000-200,000 / US$ 172,000-228,800 / €115,900-154,500). Also by Breguet is the carriage clock with grande sonnerie, minute repeater and alarm, owned by the President of Yugoslavia Josip Tito (lot 548; est. CHF 50,000-70,000 / US$ 57,200-80,100 / €38,650-54,100). The sale will end with a unique piece by Vacheron Constantin: the “30 Days Constant Force”, a fine Art Deco clock from 1933 with a 30-day power reserve (lot 579; est. CHF 70,000-120,000 / US$ 80,100-137,250 / €54,100-92,700).
Sale: May 15th 9am and 2pm – Mandarin Oriental Hôtel du Rhône, Geneva
Preview: May 12th-14th, 10am-7pm – 2, rue du Mont-Blanc, Geneva