Industry News – Sotheby’s Antique Watch Auction – May 13, 2003

Sotheby’s will be auctioning tomorrow in Geneva an exceptional collection of almost 70 timepieces made between 1912 and 1965. It will take place at Sotheby’s offices at 13 Quai du Mont Blanc, in Geneva at 7pm.

The star of the lot is a stunning platinum triple calendar Patek Calatrava wristwatch, Ref. 96, made in 1929 and sold in 1937.

Pre-dating this watch by three years is a 1926 Patek Philippe single button chronograph in one of the earliest wristwatch case designs the company produced, the so called ‘Officer’ case. It has a champagne coloured dial and is one of the rarest chronograph Patek’s to be offered at auction.

Among the other interesting pieces up for auction are:

A Patek, Ref. 96 circa 1936 gold Calatrava with center seconds.

A Patek, Ref. 1595 circa 1952, a white gold Cloisonne enamel dial depicting a Galleon.

A Cartier, with European Watch Co. movement, circa 1928 gold tonneau single button chronograph.

Another Cartier with EWC movement, circa 1927, gold single button chronograph with enamel dial.

A Cartier, with a typical Reverso case as invented by René Chauvot, French Patent No. 712868 from March 4th, 1931, and later acquired by Jaeger-LeCoultre. This appears to be an example following the patent’s specifications but designed as a Cartier piece (with certificate of authenticity by Cartier and JLC).

A Vacheron, circa 1915 with an unusual left-handed crown position.

A Breguet, #4135, circa 1930, gold chronograph with tachometer.

and a most interesting Rolex Prince in gold with an Extra Prima 18 jewel movement with bi-metallic compensation balance, adjusted to 6 positions, two-tone silvered matte dial, Arabic numerals, subsidiary dial indicating constant seconds, inner metal case, all hinged into a gold engine-turned outer case in the shape of a match safe, case, dial and movement signed, case stamped with hallmarks, Glasgow, 1934.

For a similar example see the book Dowling & Hess, Rolex Wristwatches: The Best of Time, p. 133.