Masterworks of Time: An Incomparable Watch Collection

By Sotheby's

S otheby’s is delighted to announce the sale of an unparalleled collection of more than 800 timepieces. The Masterworks of Time sale will offer one of the most important collections remaining in private hands, with an estimated value of £11-20 million.

Spanning from the Renaissance to the present day, the collection chronicles the history of watchmaking and encompasses all the ground-breaking technological and artistic innovations of the last 500 years from each of the European epicentres of the industry.

William Anthony, London. A magnificent and very rare 8-day gold, enamel, split-pearl and diamond-set duplex watch made for the Chinese market, 1797, No.1898. Estimate: £70,000–100,000

From early watches with German ‘stackfreeds’, to double dialled astronomical timepieces, superb enamels, form watches, musical and automata pieces, tourbillons, and complicated timepieces, this collection has been put together over a lifetime dedicated to seeking out the very best examples.

Johann Peter May, Augsburg. A quarter striking astronomical masterpiece table clock movement and dials with astrolabic and calendar dials, the substantial movement with verge escapement and striking on two bells, circa 1720. Estimate: £25,000–40,000

As Daryn Schnipper, Chairman, International Watch Division, says: “Assembled with a keen eye and tremendous knowledge, this is a truly unique collection. If you take the scope, the variety, the depth, the innovation, the early watches, the enamels, he covered all the bases, he left no stone unturned.”

George Daniels. A unique and important yellow gold watch with daniels double-wheel escapement, mean-solar and sidereal time, age and phase of moon and equation of time indications, 1982, Space Traveler I. Estimate: £700,000–1,000,000

The collection will be offered in four dedicated sales in London, Geneva, New York and Hong Kong between July and October 2020. The first sale will take place in London on 2 July and will include some 160 lots headlined by the legendary George Daniels Space Traveller I. The following day, Sotheby’s Treasures sale, will include a further selection from the collection.

Jehan Cremsdorff , Paris, circa 1650. A highly important gold, enamel and diamond-set watch, the case enamel in the manner of the Blois school combined techniques of Champlevé, en relief, and peinture en camaieu, with matching crank key, diameter 60mm. Estimate: £700,000–1,000,000

As well as pieces from a hugely impressive list of horological giants, including A. Lange & Söhne, Abraham Louis Breguet, Dent, Ferdinand Berthoud, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Jehan Cremsdorff and Frères Rochat, the collection also includes an exceptional selection of clocks spanning almost 400 years.

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