Transcript of "01 Rolex Science: Precious Sotheby’s Geneva 13 November 2011"
For immediate releasePRESS RELEASE GENEVA Geneva | Marie‐Béatrice Morin | marie‐email@example.com | +41 22 908 48 14 London | Matthew Weigman | firstname.lastname@example.org Kelly Signorelli‐Chaplin| email@example.com | +44 20 7293 6000 THE “CLARIN MUSTAD 1518” Patek Philippe, Ref. 1518, 1944 Est. CHF 800,000‐1,200,000/ $890,000‐1,330,000 SOTHEBY’S GENEVA SALE OF IMPORTANT WATCHES ON 13 NOVEMBER 2011 to present Pieces of World History A selection of rare timepieces dating from 1574 to today led by: TWO ROLEX WRISTWATCHES THAT BELONGED TO LEADERS OF THE POST‐WORLD WAR II ERA: GERMAN CHANCELLOR KONRAD ADENAUER & INDIA’S FIRST PRESIDENT DR. RAJENDRA PRASAD & THE “CLARIN MUSTAD 1518” A UNIQUE PATEK PHILIPPE REFERENCE 1518 PERPETUAL CALENDAR CHRONOGRAPH Sotheby’s autumn sale of Important Watches on Sunday 13 November 2011 will be spearheaded by two Rolex wristwatches that belonged to leaders of the post‐World War II era: the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer and the first President of the Republic of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Tracing the development of watchmaking from 1574 to the present day, the sale will comprise iconic pieces from pivotal moments in horological history, from very fine examples of Renaissance watches to the “Clarin Mustad 1518”, a unique Patek Philippe Reference 1518 chronograph (illustrated right), through luxurious pocket watches made for the Chinese, Ottoman, India and Hispanic markets in the 19th century. Featuring 270 lots estimated in excess of CHF 8 million, the sale will also include a large selection of rare vintage and highly complicated modern wristwatches by the most prestigious watchmakers of the 20th and 21st centuries.
2 Speaking of the sale, Geoffroy Ader, Head of Sotheby’s Watch Department in Europe, said: “The recent success of our watch sale in Hong Kong in October 2011 demonstrated the strong and ever‐increasing demand for rare collectible watches across the globe. The forthcoming Geneva sale is set to capture the imagination and interest of international collectors, with unique models such as the Patek Philippe “Clarin Mustad 1518” and watches that belonged to key figures of the 20th century and witnessed pivotal moments in modern history ”. Antique Timepieces (1574‐1900) The sale will present a large selection of antique timepieces. Covering four centuries, from the late 16th century to the early 20th century, this section showcases iconic pieces produced for all continents by the greatest European watchmakers of their time. The oldest piece in the sale is a French early oval gilt‐metal pre‐hairspring verge watch with alarm made by Estienne Papon in Gien circa 1574. A testament to the major scientific and artistic developments that characterised the 16th century in Europe, this striking piece of history is offered for sale with an estimate of CHF 30,000‐50,000/ $33,300‐55,500 (illustrated right). At the end of the 16th century and in the first half of the 17th century, the French city of Blois became one of the most important horological centres in Europe, where watchmakers to the French Kings were established1. The sale will include a silver and gilt oval verge watch made in Blois circa 1630 by Nicolas Lemaindre (1598‐1648). Watchmaker to Catherine and Marie de Medici 2, Lemaindre created pieces of exceptional craftsmanship, some of which are found today in the collections of the Louvre, Paris and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (est. CHF 10,000‐15,000/ $11,100‐16,700). Characteristic of the 17th century puritan style is also a silver pair‐cased repousse clock watch dating from circa 1700 and signed Beauvais, London (est. CHF 8,000‐12,000/ $8,900‐13,300, illustrated left). 1 The 1661 inventory of Mazarin revealed that almost all his watches were made in Blois. 2 In 1631, Nicolas Lemaindre received 2175 livres from the King in payment for seven watches, which represented a small fortune.
3 Timepieces made for the Chinese market The subject of an ever‐increasing demand among worldwide collectors, enamel pocket watches and automata made for the Chinese, Ottoman, Indian and Hispanic markets feature strongly in the sale. Leading this group are luxury timepieces specially designed for the Chinese market in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The first commercial contacts of European watchmakers with China were established in the late 16th century. At first an object of curiosity, European luxury timepieces, mostly Swiss and English, became highly sought after among Chinese officials under the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736‐1796). In the early 1800s, Swiss, English and French makers vied for the lucrative Chinese market, creating pieces of great innovation and originality. Among them was Jean‐Antoine Lépine (1720‐1814), a revolutionary Parisian watch and clockmaker who contributed to crucial inventions. An example of his great creations is a fine yellow gold and moss agate scent flacon with inset clock watch made circa 1770 for the Chinese market (est. CHF 100,000‐150,000/ $111,000‐167,000, illustrated above). Reflecting the extraordinary craftsmanship behind ornamental timepieces destined for Chinese dignitaries is an 18K yellow gold, enamel and pearl open‐faced watch made circa 1820 by the London watchmaker William Ilbery (1760‐1839). One of the most prominent makers of “Chinese watches”, Ilbery organised the production of highly engraved movements in Switzerland, mainly in Fleurier, while the cases of his watches were decorated by the best Genevan enamellers. The present watch features a polychrome enamel scene of Abelard and Heloise attributed to the Geneva‐based enameller Hess (est. CHF 70,000‐100,000/ $78,000‐111,000, illustrated left). Other fine examples of “Chinese watches” include a yellow gold, enamel and pearl open‐faced centre second, quarter repeating watch, made in Switzerland circa 1825 (est. CHF 30,000‐40,000/ $33,300‐44,400, illustrated right) and a yellow gold and enamel centre second watch realised circa 1785 by the Swiss Jaquet Droz, whose automata were highly sought after in China (est. CHF 15,000‐25,000/ $16,700‐27,700).
4Timepieces made for the Ottoman market The group of antique timepieces will also be highlighted by enamel pocket watches made for the Ottoman Empire ‐ another destination of choice for enterprising European watchmakers in the late 18th century. Commercial relations between European watchmakers and the “Sublime Porte” were initiated as early as in the 17th century and consolidated over the 18th and 19th centuries. During this period, the best European watchmakers produced high quality watches which were often offered as aristocratic gifts to the Sultans3. Among these, recognisable through their dial with Turkish numerals, is a rare yellow gold and diamond half‐hunter cased keyless watch made circa 1890 probably by Louis Audemars, known for the fine workmanship of his movements (est. CHF 80,000‐120,000/ $89,000‐133,000, illustrated left). Other fine examples of timepieces made for Ottoman market include two pieces with a portrait of Sultan Abdülmecid I (1823‐1861). Succeeding his father Mahmud II in 1839, he forged alliances with France and the United Kingdom in the Crimean War against Russia, thereby facilitating the entrance of the Ottoman Empire into the Concert of Nations in 1853. Liberal‐minded, he is mostly remembered for conducting major social and political reforms, heralding the modernisation of the Ottoman Empire (known as “Tanzimat”). The first watch is an 18K yellow gold and enamel hunting‐cased watch made circa 1846 by Robert Roskell, an important London watchmaker of the time. The cover of the watch features a polychrome enamel portrait of Abdülmecid I in military uniform wearing the order of Iftihar Nisani (est. CHF 17,000‐20,000/ $18,900‐22,000). Made by Longines circa 1900, the other watch is an 18K yellow gold and enamel hunting cased minute repeating keyless watch, with a portrait of Abdülmecid I on the cover and an enamel scene of Saint Sophia on the back (est. CHF 30,000‐40,000/ $33,300‐44,400, illustrated above). In the 19th century, pocket watches with “exotic” landscapes inspired by Orientalist paintings were highly coveted. Characteristic of these watches is a yellow gold and enamel hunter cased watch dating from circa 1825 and decorated with an enamel scene representing the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, most commonly known as the “Blue Mosque” (est. CHF 6,000‐8,000/ $6,700‐8,900, illustrated left). 3 Fine examples of these luxurious gifts can still be seen in Istanbul at the Topkapi Palace, which has a collection of 300 timepieces made for the local elite from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
5Timepieces made for the Indian market Following the success, in Sotheby’s May 2011 sale, of “Rajah Watches”, November’s session will present a further selection of luxurious pocket watches destined for the Indian market. Reaching their apogee in the latter half of the 19th century, the “Rajah watches” were decorated with enamel portraits of their commissioners, often taken from photographs sent from India. The sale comprises an 18K yellow gold and enamel hunting cased triple calendar keyless chronograph watch made circa 1890 by the London watchmaker J.W. Benson and featuring a portrait of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II (est. CHF 20,000‐30,000/ $22,200‐33,300, illustrated above). The ruler of the Jodhpur State from 1873 until 1895, Jaswant Singh II was created a Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, an order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in 1861 to honour Indian Chiefs and British officers who served in India. Timepieces produced for the Indian market often combined precious material and great technical complexity, as seen in an 18K yellow gold, diamond, enamel and pearl‐set hunting cased minute repeating keyless watch. Dating from circa 1895, this delicate piece is signed by Marcks & Co. Ltd which specialised in the retail of fine timepieces in India, often featuring highly complicated Swiss movements (est. CHF 45,000‐55,000/ $49,900‐61,000, illustrated left). Timepieces made for the Hispanic market In the late 19th century, European watchmakers started producing timepieces tailored for the Spanish and South American markets. These pieces were often characterised by highly engraved cases, as demonstrated in the highlight of this section ‐ an 18K yellow gold and enamel hunting‐cased minute repeating watch with a spectacular automaton scene of bullfighting and a case with a medieval armoury trophy. This watch was made circa 1890 by Sandoz Frères, Swiss watchmakers based in Le Locle which was, at the time, a centre for the production of cases with elaborate gold work and engraved decoration (est. CHF 30,000‐50,000/ $33,300‐55,500, illustrated above). Other highlights of this section include two 18K yellow gold hunting‐cased minute repeating keyless watches dating from 1876 and 1878 (illustrated left) and signed by Jose R. de Losada, a Spaniard working in London from 1835 until 1881 and specialised in pocket watches for the Hispanic markets (each estimated at CHF 10,000‐15,000/$11,100‐16,700).
8 Vintage and modern timepieces PATEK PHILIPPE The star lot of the Patek Philippe section and of the sale is the “Clarin Mustad 1518” ‐ a unique reference 1518 perpetual calendar chronograph. Made on special request in 1944, this watch with attached 18K pink gold brick link bracelet, personalised back inscription, moon‐phases and French calendar on an especially made pink dial was dedicated to Clarin Mustad (1871‐1948), a Norwegian industrialist who contributed to the emergence of the car industry in Europe. Produced between 1941 and 1954, the Reference 1518 was the very first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch to be manufactured in a series by any firm in the world. 47 models with pink gold cases are publicly known today and the present watch is the only one with such a bracelet and lugs (est. CHF 800,000‐1,200,000/ $890,000‐1,330,000, illustrated right and p.1). Patek Philippe’s legendary craftsmanship is represented in another vintage piece – an exceptionally rare 18K pink gold “World Time” reference 2523 with 24 hour indication dating from circa 1953. The Reference 2523 is part of an outstandingly small series of dual crown world time wristwatches and only five models in pink gold are known today. The present watch is the only one with a guilloché central dial and appears for the first time at auction with an estimate of CHF 400,000‐800,000/ $444,000‐886,700 (illustrated left). Another fine example of “World Time” model is a rare Reference 1415 pink gold World Time wristwatch dating from 1946. Known as the “Round‐the‐World‐Timer” or the “Worldwide Time Watch”, Reference 1415 was introduced in 1939 and produced until circa 1954. Coming from the descendants of the original owner, the present watch features a pink dial in an 18K pink gold case, making it a highly collectible model (est. CHF 80,000‐120,000/ $89,000‐133,000, illustrated right). The sale also includes a group of modern complicated wristwatches by Patek Philippe. Among them are an extremely rare platinum minute repeating tourbillon wristwatch, ref. 3939HP made in 1999 (est. CHF 250,000‐350,000/ $277,000‐388,000, illustrated left) and a fine rectangular Tourbillon wristwatch with ten day power reserve dating from 2004 (ref. 5101P) (est. CHF 150,000‐200,000/ $167,000‐222,000).
9 ROLEX At the centre of the sale is also an outstanding group of Rolex models. Following the auction records achieved for rare Daytona models in November 2010 and May 20117, this session will comprise various Daytona vintage models, covering different references and dial combinations. Leading this section are two rare Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman” ref. 6264, both dating from circa 1967 and estimated at CHF 100,000‐150,000/ $ 111,000‐167,000. The first, in stainless steel, is illustrated in Paolo Gobbi’s I Cronografi Rolex ‐ La Leggenda, the reference book on the history of Rolex chronographs8 (illustrated above). The second ‐ an 18K yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with registers ‐ formerly belonged to the prestigious Mondani Collection of Rolex Wristwatches (illustrated left). Capturing the essence of Rolex as the adventurer’s watch is the “Mystery Cross” Daytona enjoys a rather unusual story. Dating from circa 1969, this stainless steel chronograph wristwatch (Ref. 6265/6262) with engraving on the case back depicting a mysterious cross was given by a guerrillero to the photographer Sergio Leoni in exchange of his watch in the midst of the Amazonian forest (est. CHF 50,000‐70,000/ $55,500‐79,000, illustrated right). Among the other rare Daytona models is a stainless steel Oyster Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6263/6262 made circa 1972 and featuring the Sultanate of Oman’s official coat of arms on its dial (est. CHF 32,000‐38,000/ $35,500‐42,100, illustrated left). In addition, passionate collectors of Rolex chronographs will have the opportunity to find other rare models, including a rare Sea‐Dweller ref. 1665 with gas escape valve made in 1981 for COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise), a Marseille‐based company specialised in underwater engineering for the oil industry. In 1972, COMEX divers wore Rolex Sea‐Dwellers in a world record‐setting dive which took them down to 2000 feet (610 meters) for 50 hours. Following this success, COMEX decided to exclusively used Rolex diving watches and chronometers9. The present stainless steel centre seconds wristwatch with date, bracelet and Rolex patent back comes to the market with an estimate of CHF 50,000‐70,000/ $55,500‐78,000. 7 In November 2010, Sotheby’s Geneva sold a very rare stainless steel Oyster Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman” with brown dial, circa 1969 for CHF 464,500 ($476,805) (est. CHF 60,000 – 80,000) – a world auction record for a Rolex Daytona Paul Newman. In May 2011, the “Daytona 13” set a world record for a reference 16528 when it sold for CHF 122,500 ($138,291) (est. CHF 80,000‐120,000). 8 Gobbi Paolo,Vinardi Filippo, Papaleo Salvatore, I Cronografi Rolex, La Leggenda, Pucci Papaleo Editore, 2004, 450 pages.
10 Vintage Timepieces Vintage wristwatches by the most innovative horologists of the 20th century make for an essential addition to the sale. Displaying Breguet’s timeless elegant design and defining mechanical complexity is a possibly unique white and pink old octagonal open‐faced watch with triple calendar, power reserve and moon‐phases. Made in 1949, this exceptional watch clearly shows the influence of legendary watchmaker Abraham‐Louis Breguet (1747‐1823) who counted among his most loyal clients Marie‐Antoinette, Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I (est. CHF 40,000‐60,000/ $44,400‐66,500, illustrated right). Audemars Piguet’s innovative style is reflected in an extremely rare and unique 18K yellow gold octagonal minute repeating wristwatch. First used in 1927, the movement of this watch was cased in 1975. This watch represents the quintessence of the minute repeating device, while its design is very characteristic of the 1970s (est. CHF 120,000‐180,000/ $133,000‐200,000, illustrated left). Lange and Söhne’s superb craftsmanship is represented in a fine and rare Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” with a pink dial made circa 1994 upon request of the present owner. One of the first models by A. Lange & Söhne and perhaps one of the highest quality tourbillons ever created, the Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” was only produced between 1994 and 1998. This fine and rare limited edition platinum tourbillon wristwatch with chain and fusée and power reserve indication is part of the 50 pieces in platinum created over this period (est. CHF 150,000‐250,000/ $167,000‐277,000, illustrated right). Demonstrating Omega’s pioneering spirit is a gilt brass plated prototype central tourbillon wristwatch presented in 1994 to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. Codenamed Project 33 (P33), the project begun in 1991 under the direction of Moritz Grimm and André Beyner who found their inspiration in three of Omegas past achievements: the "Montres des Sables" pocket watches, the “Dinosaure”, and Omegas famous 30mm automatic movement (est. CHF 30,000‐50,000/ $33,300‐55,500, illustrated left). 9 About 300 models of the Sea‐Dweller reference 1665 with gas escape valve were supplied to COMEX from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.
11 Modern Timepieces Complementing the offer is a section dedicated to highly complicated modern timepieces by today’s greatest watchmakers. Among them is a Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30°. Dating from circa 2005, this very fine and rare 18K white gold semi‐skeletonised double tourbillon wristwatch with four fast‐rotating co‐axial barrels and 120‐hour power reserve carries an estimate of CHF 250,000‐350,000/ $277,000‐388,000 (illustrated right). Richard Mille is represented by two pieces from circa 2005 marrying cutting edge techniques with a strong artistic and architectural dimension. The first ‐ one of the five examples of the RM 012 set with diamonds ‐ is an exceptional limited edition oversized platinum and diamond set tourbillon curved tonneau skeleton wristwatch (est. CHF 300,000‐400,000/ $333,000‐444,000, illustrated left); the second – an 18K white gold semi‐skeletonised watch with power reserve ‐ is a fine example of RM 020, the first pocket watch ever built using a baseplate structure of carbon nanofiber (est. CHF 150,000‐200,000/ $167,000‐222,000). A further highlight of this section is a Royal Oak Concept CW1 watch made by Audemars Piguet circa 2002. This fine oversized limited edition alacrite and titanium tourbillon wristwatch with power reserve, dynamograph and function selector is one of the 150 examples of Royal Oak Concept CW1 produced between 2002 and 2004 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak model (est. CHF 110,000‐130,000/ $122,000‐144,000, illustrated right). IMPORTANT WATCHES Sale: Hôtel Beau‐Rivage, Geneva Sunday 13 November 2011 at 8pm Pre‐sale exhibition: Hôtel Beau‐Rivage, Geneva Friday 11 November, 3pm – 6pm Saturday 12 November, 10am – 6pm Sunday 13 November, 10am – 6pm ALL PRESS RELEASES ARE PUBLISHED ON WWW.SOTHEBYS.COM IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST * Pre‐sale estimates do not include buyer’s premium Vente dirigée par le Ministère de Maîtres Claude Naville et Marco Breitenmoser, Huissiers Judiciaires.