The sale was led by an extremely rare pocket watch by Patek Philippe, which surpassed its estimate to reach CHF 472,000/$475,488. Thought to be one of only two models of reference 844 in white gold, this minute repeating perpetual calendar watch with moon-phases from 1973 bears a full digital display of day, month and date held within a single aperture.
Offered for the first time at auction, a very rare stainless steel Patek Philippe wristwatch with black dial and Breguet numerals, reference 1504, soared to more than ten times its pre-sale estimate, reaching CHF 328,000/$330,424. This is the only known example of this reference which combines a stainless steel case, black dial and pink gold Breguet numerals.
A stunning example of Swiss Art Deco design, a superb desk timepiece made by Vacheron Constantin, in collaboration with Verger Frères, sold for CHF 430,000/$433,178. Eight avid collectors vied for this exquisite piece, created in 1926, which features a mother-of-pearl dial by Vladimir Makovsky.
A world auction record for a Heuer watch was set when Formula One driver Ronnie Peterson’s Heuer Carerra watch sold in the room for CHF 225,000/$226,663, over 20 times the pre-sale estimate. No fewer than six passionate collectors vied for the watch during a ten-minute bidding battle. This reference 1158 was presented to Ronnie Peterson by Jack W. Heuer in 1972 on the occasion of the signing of a sponsorship deal.
These highlights, together with a rich selection of vintage and modern wristwatches, drove the total of the sale to CHF 4,051,813 ($4,081,756).
The sale of Important Watches on 14 May features an eclectic selection of watches representing true Swiss craftsmanship in the Beau-Rivage Hotel in Geneva.
Leading the auction is an exceptional and rare musical automaton clock, in the shape of a bird cage. This stunning object proudly showcases the very finest of Swiss craftsmanship: its external appearance combines exquisite design and detail, while its inner mechanics represent the most advanced horological complications of the age. The bird cage features two charming singing birds as well as a captivating butterfly. Thanks to three automaton mechanisms, the elements combine to form a delightful scene filled with movement and music.