The Top Five... Collectible timepiece sales of 2010, so far
Here's an exclusive list featuring Cartier, Piguet, Sonnerie, Patek Phillipe and... The Qing Dynasty
2010 has already been a good year for rare collectible time pieces, with several new world records set for watches at auction - including the most expensive gold wrist watch ever sold at auction.
So, as summer enters full swing, here is a run-down of our Top Five timepieces which have sold at auction in 2010...
5. The 1929 Cartier Comet Clock
Patrizzi's New York sale on March 9 was, billed as "the most important sale of Cartier timepieces since 1996", and certainly offered up some stunning auction results.
One of the highlights of the sale was undoubtedly the 1929 Cartier Comet Clock. The nephrite, eight-day duration, grande sonnerie carriage desk clock featuring days of the week, date and alarm, as well as phases of the moon was the talk of collectors at the sale.
Mounted on 18 carat yellow gold with the original Morocco fitted box and a Cartier certificate, the timepiece was previously owned by the son of former New York city Mayor, Hugh L Grant, and sold for £160,000 ($250,000).
4. A Piguet and Meylan Pocket watch
This timepiece came up for auction during a Sotheby's sale in New York on April 19. The beautiful Piguet and Meylan pocket watch was built in 1815, and made from gold, enamel and pearls.
Also known as "The Allegory of Spring", the piece featured gilt cylinder movement, gold cuvette with blue foliate enamel design and most significantly pinned disc music.
Having been created with the Chinese market in mind, the musical pocket watch was eventually sold to a Swiss museum for £164,000 ($254,500) against an estimate of £25,000-40,000 (40,000-60,000).
3. A Grande & Petite Sonnerie Tourbillon Clockwatch
In late spring, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Geneva held an Antiquorum sale of Modern and Vintage Time pieces.
Amongst the 500 lots sold was a Grande & Petite Sonnerie Tourbillon Clockwatch attributed to Victorin Piguet. The watch, dating back to 1900, featured a tourbillion carriage created by Swiss watch designer Albert Pellaton-Favre.
Made for use in Moscow, the rare 18 carat yellow gold time piece sold to a collector from Taiwan for £204,500 ($317,688), following an intense bidding war with a European telephone bidder.
2. The Qing Dynasty Chinese Table Clock
June 8, this year, saw the Sotheby's auction of this impressive timepiece as part of a sale of the estate of vintner Patricia Kluge. Held at Albemarle house in Charlottesville in the America, the star of the show was undoubtedly the Qianlong Period timepiece.
The imperial tribute ormolu, enamel and past-set quarter striking automation table clock was produced in the Guangzhou Workshops of the Chinese Qing Dynasty dating 1736 to 1795.
The historic piece tripled its auction estimate, selling for almost £2,450,000 ($3,800,000) for a truly remarkable collectible.
1. Christie's s rare 1943 Patek Philippe watch
Last, but by no means least, is this one-of-a-kind Patek Philippe from 1943 which currently holds the world record price for the most expensive yellow-gold watch ever auctioned.
It is also the second-ever highest auction price for a wristwatch following Christie's sale of Important Watches held in Geneva, on May 10.
According the Christie's the watch sold £2,675,400 ($5,708,885).
Stamped with the Geneva seal, the 18k gold perpetual calendar chronograph's features included Moon phases and a tonneau-shaped case.
It was signed "Patek Philippe & Co" and billed as "unique and historically important," with the watch's final price more than doubling its pre-auction estimate of roughly £900,000 - 1,600,000 ($1.4m-2.25m).
The next auction of rare timepieces will take place at French Auction House Artcurial who will host a sale on August 17 in Paris.
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Images: Artcurial, Sotheby's