T his single lot sale from Geneva offers a completely unique and unprecedented concept timepiece: a one-of-a-kind hand-crafted wristwatch incorporating the original signature of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, created by independent Swiss watchmaker Golay-Spierer.
The watch, which was painstakingly assembled in Golay-Spierer’s Geneva workshop, includes in its dial the original handwritten signature of the famous statesman and military commander, dating from a letter he wrote in March 1807. The watch is the first in a new series by the manufacture: “Heroïca Tempus”, a planned capsule collection of unique watches, based on the original idea of the creator Gaël Bonnel Sanchez who have wished to include in its design the signature of an important historic figure.
A portion of proceeds from the sale will support the work of two non-profit organizations: Footballeurs sans Frontières, which funds projects for underprivileged children, and Aua Help Noma, which works to support children suffering from the debilitating disease, noma.
The unique “Napoleon Bonaparte” watch is encased in stunning rose gold, with a generous 46mm dial to accommodate the precious fragment of history: Napoleon’s original signature from a letter he wrote in 1807. The symbolism associated with the famous military commander is echoed in an imperial bee meticulously incorporated into the dial (using the traditional Swiss craft known as ‘decoupage’), as well as on the hand-engraved bezel, which bears a laurel wreath and the letter ‘N’ at 12 o’clock. The back of the watch is set with a 20-franc gold Napoléon coin, minted in 1807, the same year as the original handwritten letter which was used to create the dial.
This first piece in the ‘Heroïca Tempus’ collection was born from the meeting between Christophe Golay and French designer and creator Gaël Bonnel Sanchez.
A direct descendant of Swiss master watchmaker Auguste Golay, Christophe Golay reignited a centuries-old family tradition when in 2001, he founded Golay-Spierer, the only Swiss watchmaking company specializing in the design and manufacture of unique tailor-made timepieces.