Lot 135
  • 135


80,000 - 120,000 CHF
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  • diameter 63,5 mm, length including bow 99 mm
• gilt duplex movement, five arm balance wheel, plates engraved with floral decorations, standing barrel, signed and numbered • white enamel, Roman and Arabic numerals, centre seconds • octagonal case with gold frame inset with various coloured agate panels, the bow and outer bezel decorated with polychrome enamel motifs, the back set with a border of split pearls, matching pair of keys • signed and numbered on the movement • fitted presentation case


Movement not running while cataloguing, a service is recommended for it to be fully operational. Movement numbered 6101 / 6105. Enamel dials with different display in the writing of numerals, one of them with scuffs to the surface. Outer case with moss agate decoration in good condition, enamel parts well preserved, the cuvette opening on the back needs to be adjusted on one of them to close properly. Matching keys from the period in also well preserved condition. Overall this is a very well preserved example of a pair of watches made for the Chinese market, extremely rare to find on the watch market.
"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

William Ilbery is most commonly known as a fine maker of watches for the Chinese market, is also credited for rare examples made of moss agate such as this present example made in a pair. Like many of his watches, Ilbery used finely engraved movements incorporating duplex escapement and the outer case set with pearls.

For similar watches see Sotheby's London, The Belin Collection, November 29, 1979, lot 98 and Sotheby's New York, Masterpieces from the Time Museum, December 2, 1999, lot 29. A pair of hard-stone hexagonal watches for the Chinese market made by William Ilbery is also in The Patek Philippe Museum, Geneva, now part of the exhibition 'The Mirror of Seduction'.