There was a good buzz in the Geneva auction hall over the weekend (May 14-15) as Antiquorum's Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces sale got underway.
With an impressive variety of both antique and recent wristwatches, pocket watches and clocks from watchmaking legends going under the hammer, there was something for everyone on offer.
As expected, one of the big hits of the sale was a Breguet silver carriage clock with 10 complications. This was one of his silver humpback carriage clocks of which only a few were ever made, (1812). The complications include moon phases and equation of time.
Accompanied by the original Breguet gold-tooled red morocco travelling case, Breguet silver key and certificate, it sold for CHF205,000 (currently equivalent to $230,000) - in the upper half of its estimate range. It will make someone an excellent investment.
At the same price, but a more decisive hit, was Louis Audemars "Grande Complication - "La Russe II", No. 12199, retailed by G. Aspe, Paris in 1896. Started in April 1873, and finished circa 1880, it was sold to Monsieur P. Hebert for 3240 Francs. It was described by the auctioneers as "one of the most important complicated watches of the 19th century".
With double perpetual calendar for both Julian and Gregorian systems, as well as minute-repeating, two time zones and a chronograph, it had been expected to sell for CHF100,000-150,000 but likewise reached CHF205,000.
There were also some strong results for classic wristwatches, including a Military Submariner Rolex,(Oyster Perpetual, made for the British military) which easily surpassed its CHF70,000-120,000 listing to sell for CHF134,000 ($150,800).