Lot 156
  • 156


30,000 - 50,000 CHF
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  • height 145 mm, width 115 mm
• lever movement, 8 days, signed Jaeger • gilt dial with diamond, ruby and sapphire indexes on the hands and hour markers • silver gilt case decorated with ropes in a shape of a ship's wheel, mounted on a quadrangular obsidian base, applied with presentation plaque engraved 'France, 11 Mai 1960' • Certificate from Boucheron and original presentation case


Movement running while cataloguing, an overhaul is however recommended for it to be fully operational. Calibre Jaeger-LeCoultre 222, 8-day power reserve, key winding. Dial with some tarnishing due to aging. Lovely and uniform patina to the case. This historical desk timepiece is in a very well preserved condition and is a testimony of the transatlantic liner 'France'.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping.

Important Notice regarding importation into the United States of Rolex watches
Sotheby's cannot arrange for the delivery of Rolex watches to the United States because U.S. laws restricts the import of Rolex watches. The buyer or a designated agent may collect the property in the country of sale."

Catalogue Note

The clock was a gift to General de Gaulle on the occassion of the France's inaugural. It is referred to as The Cordage, as mentioned in the certificate accompanying the piece. It was made by Boucheron, the famous Parisian jewelers who were established in 1858 and were synonymous with luxury and taste.

The construction of the transatlantic liner France began on the 7th of October 1957, led by the company Chantiers de l'Atlantique at Saint-Nazaire. The construction was the height of innovation and technical progress for its time, and the entire ship building industry of the country was involved. 

This was the largest liner in the world and was launched on the 11th of May 1960 in Saint-Nazaire on behalf of the Transatlantic General Company. The President of the French Republic, General Charles de Gaulle, and his wife Yvonne, patron of the liner were present, in front of a vast crowd of people from all over France to attend this national event. General de Gaulle made a historical speech, ''Et maintenant, que France s'achève et s'en aille vers l'Océan pour y voguer et servir ! [...] Vive le France, vive la France!'' (And now, that France concludes and goes towards the Ocean to sail and serve! [...]\Long live France, long live France!).

The France set sail on its first transatlantic cruise in January 1962 in the presence of Michel Debré, the Prime Minister at the time. The voyage from Le Havre to New York City took five days. Very luxuriously decorated, the liner could transport up to 1806 passengers and cruises had a resounding success until 1974.