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PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF JOSEF VON STERNBERG

Vacheron Constantin
A SKELETONIZED CONSTANT FORCE DESK TIMEPIECE WITH DOUBLE BARREL 30-DAY MOVEMENT MADE IN 1933
Estimate
50,000100,000
LOT SOLD. 112,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
110

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF JOSEF VON STERNBERG

Vacheron Constantin
A SKELETONIZED CONSTANT FORCE DESK TIMEPIECE WITH DOUBLE BARREL 30-DAY MOVEMENT MADE IN 1933
Estimate
50,000100,000
LOT SOLD. 112,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Watches

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New York

Vacheron Constantin
A SKELETONIZED CONSTANT FORCE DESK TIMEPIECE WITH DOUBLE BARREL 30-DAY MOVEMENT MADE IN 1933
Dial: skeletonized, painted chapter ring to the crystal with loss, skeletonized arrow hands
Caliber: 30 day movement with constant-force escapement, 27 jewels, patent number 142508
Movement number: 416860
Case: rectangular contract case composed of glass and silver gilt, raised upon an enameled base with four feet
Dimensions: 6.5 in x 6 in x 1.5 in
Signed: movement signed Vacheron Constantin
Accessories: Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives confirming the movement was sold on its own in 1931. Further accompanied by a fitted presentation box signed Van Cleef & Arpels. 
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Catalogue Note

Sotheby's is pleased to offer pieces from the Collection of Josef von Sternberg (1894-1969), an Austrian-American filmmaker who may best be known for his discovery and collaboration with actress Marlene Dietrich, and films such as Underworld (1927), Morocco (1930), The Blue Angel (1930), and Shanghai Express (1932).

The present lot is an exceptional example of a rare group of pieces produced by Vacheron Constantin in the 1930s. Following the registration of patent number 142508, it is thought that the firm created twelve ebauches for constant force, 30-day escapements such as the present. From that group, it is thought that only five fully cased desk timepieces, such as the present, were finished.

One such example, no. 418068, was sold in 2011 at Antiquorum Geneva for 242,500 CHF. It, too, was cased in a contract Art Deco case. Beyond that, the only additional movement previously offered at auction is movement no. 838970, which was cased in the 1990s and sold by Sotheby's Hong Kong in 2012. 

This design served as the inspiration for Vacheron Constantin's Arca timepiece, launched as a unique piece in 2015. It was created in celebration of the firm's 260th jubilee that year, and featured an identical movement. 

Combining exceptional Hollywood provenance, a stunning Art Deco aesthetic and an impressive technical movement, the present lot is sure to captivate its beholders from an intellectual and visual perspective. 

For similar examples, see Lambelet, C. & Coen, L., L'Univers de Vacheron Constantin, Genève. Page 396 of that text illustrates movement number 416861, one digit off from the present example, and page 399 illustrates the aforementioned movement number 418068. A third example with world time indication is illustrated on page 398. 

Important Watches

|
New York