Duc d'Orleans Breguet clock up 18% in record-breaking auction

Duc d'Orleans Breguet clock up 18% in record-breaking auction

The Duc d'Orleans Breguet Sympathique clock sold for $6.8m in New York

Sotheby's Important Watches and Clocks auction in New York has been highlighted by the outstanding sale of the Duc d'Orleans Breguet Sympathique.

Breguet auction record Duc d'Orleans Sympathique The clock's case is made from red tortoise shell inlaid with gilt brass

The record-breaking sale was held yesterday (December 4) and saw the lavish clock sell for $6.8m to become to most valuable Breguet item ever sold at auction, as well as the most valuable French timepiece.

The clock made a 17.7% increase on its last sale in 1999, when it sold to the Time Museum in Rockford, Illinois for a then-record price of $5.7m. It was consigned to Sotheby's directly from the museum's collection.

The current world record for a Breguet wristwatch was also set this year, with reference 2667 selling for $4.7m at Christie's in May.

The clock was first commissioned by the Duc d'Orleans, son of King Louis-Philippe of France, as a furnishing for his new Parisian residence, the Pavillion de Marson. The piece was then discovered in 1974 by the renowned horologist and Breguet scholar George Daniels, who gave it a loving restoration.

Breguet Sympathique watch The clock is the only Sympathique to wind and set the time of its watch

Dated 1835, thepiece is technically ingenious as well as beautiful, combining both a clock and pocket watch with an incredibly complex mechanism. The Duc d'Orleans is the only Sympathique clock produced by Breguet that is known to wind, set to time and regulate its watch via the integrated candle mount on the clock's pediment.

It is believed that Breguet produced just 12 Sympathique clocks, each of which was designed specifically for its owner. The highprice set by the master watchmaker resulted in only royalty having the means to purchase one, with famous owners including the Russian imperial court, the Spanish royal family, Napoleon I and King George IV of England.

Sign up to our free weekly newsletterfor more of the latest news and investment advice on watch and clock collecting.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock