Today, April 13, Sotheby's is holding an auction of Important Watches and Clocks. This sale features a diverse group of timepieces showcasing important works of horology from the sixteenth century to the present day.
Leading the sale is a group of important clocks from the Abbot Guggenheim collection (lots 1-20), followed by a magnificent singing bird automaton clock by Piguet Meylan and Frédéric Rochat (lot 23).
The grouping of pocket watches includes both technically complicated and decorative enamel pieces made for the Chinese and Turkish markets, which are among the most sought after in today's market making them strong investments.
The selection of modern wristwatches is highlighted by three major collections from private clients. These groups include a number of highly complicated pieces featuring tourbillons by some of the best-regarded modern watchmaking firms, as well as an Urwerk white gold 'Hammerhead' (lot 120), the first of its kind to be auctioned at Sotheby's New York.
Vintage Rolex watches of note in this sale include an excellent Ref. 8171 (lot 138), purchased by Commander Ernest Pollitt of the US Navy while on a tour of duty, as well as a rare 14k yellow gold Oyster Cosmograph Daytona with its original box and punched certificate (lot 135).
Patek Philippe watches represent the final portion of the sale, with offerings from 1854 to 2003.
A diverse group of pendant and dress watches from the firm illustrate the creative range of the company, and complicated watches featuring minute repeaters, chronographs and perpetual calendars illustrate the technical mastery of the firm through the ages.
Of particular note in this group are two perpetual calendar minute repeating open-faced watches, one from 1883 and one from 1931, lending insight into the stylistic changes and classic traditions of the firm through the years (lots 172 and 173).
The wristwatches on offer include rectangular shape watches of the 1940s and 1950s, as well as the iconic Ref. 2526, the firm's first automatic model (lots 184,185 and 186).
More complicated vintage pieces include a Ref. 130 with Breguet numerals, (lot 192), a stainless steel Ref. 1463 (lot 226) and a Ref. 1518 (lot 225). The modern Patek Philippe watches are led by a spectacular Ref. 5020 (lot 224) and a Ref. 3970 (lot 223).