Lot 332
  • 332

Audemars Piguet

80,000 - 120,000 CHF
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • dimensions 28 x 24.5 mm
• cal. 10HPVM manual winding nickel lever movement with gold wheels, 18 jewels, cut bi-metallic compensation balance • silvered dial, painted Arabic numerals, outer minute track, blue steel Breguet hands, subsidiary dials for date, day, month and moon-phases • 18k white gold polished case, engraved snap-on back • case, dial and movement signed, movement signed Gübelin


Please note that the movement has not been checked for timekeeping accuracy and Sotheby's will not be held responsible for any repairs should they be require. Movement is in working order while cataloguing. Dial with Gübelin signature and graduation around the moon faded away. Case in good condition with small scratches to the band from opening the case. Back engraved with inscription "L. STEWART BARR, U.S.A., 1924, THIS IS THE FIRST CALENDAR WRISTWATCH EVER MADE BY US AND I BELIEVE IT TO BE THE ONLY ONE EXISTANCE. E. GÜBELIN , LUCERNE 1924, SWITZERLAND" **The strap of this wristwatch is made from an endangered species, please refer to 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

This magnificent wristwatch is historically important in the development of the calendar wristwatch. The archives of Audemars Piguet show that this wristwatch was the first of its type made by this illustrious watchmaker. Manufactured in 1921, Audemars Piguet delivered the watch to Gübelin in 1924 at a cost of CHF 1,025. Beneath the original owner’s name: “L.Stewart Barr, U.S.A. 1924”, the watch carries a highly significant inscription by Gübelin: “this is the first calendar wristwatch ever made by us and I believe it to be the only one in existence, E. Gübelin, Lucerne, 1924, Switzerland.”

Audemars Piguet have confirmed that this wristwatch was the first and only example of this calendar model delivered to Gübelin in 1924. Therefore, although Gübelin took possession of further examples of these calendar watches in the period up to 1929, it was the only watch that would have been known to Gübelin at the time their inscription was made.

This important wristwatch was sold for US$155’500 at Sotheby’s, New York, in 1987 against a pre-sale estimate of 30’000-40’000 USD. The cataloguing at that time stated that Gübelin confirmed the inscription to the case back.

Made during the early period of wristwatch production, this is a highly significant timepiece in the history and development of the wristwatch. The style of its rectangular case is one of the earliest ‘shaped’ designs to be produced. Rectangular wristwatch cases became increasingly popular during the 1920s and 1930s as the design possibilities lent by this new form of wrist timekeeping became more widely adopted. Such early incorporation of a full calendar with moon-phases within a rectangular case is extraordinary. Seen within this context, one can appreciate something of its "avant garde" nature. When Stewart Barr first owned this wristwatch, it would have been a sensation and one cannot help but imagine him proudly showing the inscription upon its case back to his admiring friends.

A similar example sold by Audemars Piguet to Gübelin, Lucerne in 1928 is illustrated in Audemars Piguet. Le maître de l’horlogerie depuis 1875, Flammarion 2011, p 154.