Lot 259
  • 259

Audemars Piguet

Estimate
30,000 - 50,000 USD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed

Description

  • A FINE AND RARE 18K YELLOW GOLD CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH THREE-TONE DIAL, TACHOMETER, TELEMETER AND REGISTERCIRCA 1938 NO 43792
  • diameter 33 mm
• manual winding nickel lever movement, 22 jewels • three-tone dial with tachometer scale to the matte gilt centerfield, luminescent Roman numerals to the brushed gilt chapter ring, outer rose telemeter scale, engine-turned subsidiary dials for seconds and 45-minute register • lozenge-form chronograph buttons, engraving to the outside of the case back • dial signed, movement signed and numbered 43792, case numbered 43792

Condition

The movement is running at the time of cataloguing, however it may require service soon. The dial has some loss to the luminescent finish to the numerals and mostly to the minutes hand. The hour chapters may have been re-lumed at some point and the hands could be replacements. Otherwise the printing looks very good and the dial overall is completely characteristic for this type of AP dial. The case has a warm patina and surface scuffs from wear. The case back is engraved 'Lieutenant Henri Glasberg' for the original owner. The strap of this watch contains endangered species; please see Important Notices for further information.
"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

A similar example, No. 43793, is illustrated on page 240 of Brunner, G., Pfeiffer-Belli, C., and Wehrli, M., Audemars Piguet.

The present example offers the opportunity for a collector to own a superb and exceedingly rare wristwatch. In the 1930s, production levels for Audemars Piguet dropped nearly to a halt following the worldwide economic depression following the 1929 stock market crash. The firm adjusted by re-assessing the number of watchmakers on staff, but remained committed to the tradition of haute horlogerie that continues to define the brand. By 1938, the firm recorded just over 400 pieces made for the year, a number which may seem low but which marked a 400% uptick from the previous year.

Emerging from this period of scant production, the present lot stands apart from other chronographs from this decade with its highly unusual dial. Aesthetically stunning with its three distinct tones in matte and brushed finishes, it further stands out from other known chronographs with its central tachometer scale. On page 250-253 of Audemars Piguet, twenty chronographs from the period are illustrated with various case shapes, retailer's names and even pulsations dials, however none with the highly unusual layout of the present lot, making it more than likely a unique piece.

The case back is engraved for a French lieutenant who served World War II. After seeing front-line combat with this soldier, the watch was returned to a safe deposit box and passed down through the generations within the same family to the current owner. Sotheby's is pleased to offer this piece for the first time at auction.