Masterworks of Time: Abraham Louis Breguet, Horologist Extraordinaire

Online Auction: 3–16 June 2020 • 4:00 PM CEST • Geneva
Masterworks of Time: Abraham Louis Breguet, Horologist Extraordinaire 「時間傑作——阿伯拉罕・路易・寶璣:鐘錶鬼才」 3–16 June 2020 • 4:00 PM CEST • Geneva
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S otheby’s is pleased to present the third in the four-part Masterworks of Time series, Abraham Louis Breguet, Horologist Extraordinaire, which will take place online from 3-16 June.

The sale features an exciting selection of pieces by the iconic maker Abraham Louis Breguet made during his most important period of work; 1790/1823. One of the greatest watchmakers of all time, Breguet’s ingenious innovations including the tourbillon, his perpetuelle mechanism; an automatic winding system, the souscription, and the montre a tact earned him a Royal and aristocratic clientele across Europe. Highlights in this sale, including the No. 2574-a six-minute tourbillon with a Peto Cross detent chronometer escapement and the Breguet No. 60-a quarter repeating perpetuelle watch, put the maker’s genius on full display.

Pieces by important American makers such as Albert Potter and Charles Fasoldt complement the group of Breguet watches. The sale represents a diversity of decorative and complicated pieces, from a rare art nouveau piece by René Lalique, to a doubled dialed perpetual calendar astronomical watch by Dent, which was amongst the most complicated watches created during its day. An exceptional, fresh to the market pink World Time open faced watch with the Map of North America leads a select group of select Patek Philippe pieces. Other highlights include a three gold bridge tourbillon in a richly engraved case by Girard Perregaux, and timepieces by storied firms such as Cartier and Audemars Piguet.

Featured Highlights

Abraham-Louis Breguet: The Perpetual Innovator
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The Dent Ultra-Complication
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  • Perpetual Calendar

    One of the 19 complications in the present lot. This accurately gives the current day, month, and year, and will automatically adjust for the Leap Year until 2100, when it will need to be readjusted for the first time.

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  • Edward John Dent

    Dent was an exceedingly talented watchmaker and established a reputation for building excellent chronometers. He is most famous for being the clockmaker who won the contract to build the famous ‘Big Ben’ clock.

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  • Strike/Silent Lever

    This watch will strike a gong on the hour as well as chime a tune on the quarter/half/three-quarter and hour. The user can silence one or both of those functions through this lever.

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  • Sign of the Zodiac

    This hand indicates the current sign of the Zodiac, which is shown at the edge of the dial.

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  • Equation of Time Indication

    This sun-tipped hand indicates to a semi-circular track which is calibrated to show the difference between apparent solar and mean time. The difference between mean and solar time ranges from plus 14 minutes 59 seconds to minus 16 minutes 15 seconds, and the two agree only four times a year.

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  • Morning and Evening Stars

    These apertures show the current visible planet or planets. The named planets are Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn and Mars, and they appear solo or in pairs within the apertures.

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Watches With No Reserve

The sale includes a diverse array of accessibly priced timepieces from notable makers including A. Lange & Söhne and Cartier.

Watches by Breguet

Breguet’s influence on the history of horology cannot be overstated. The pieces in this sale exemplify his ability to consistently advance technological boundaries. His creativity and ingenuity inspired generations of makers to come and continues to be found in watches made today.

American Watches

Waltham established a legacy for American watchmaking, as can be seen in the pieces below. These exciting Waltham pieces are complimented by iconic American watchmakers Albert Potter and Charles Fasoldt.

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