Heritage Auctions Timepiece Auction Results

. December 16, 2009

Collectors had their eyes on Cartier at the $1.2 million Heritage Auctions Signature Timepiece sale on Dec. 7 as a fantastically rare Diamond, Jade, Pearl, Coral and Rock Mystery Clock brought $155,350 and a gorgeous Silver, Gold Jadeite and Pearl Four Dial Eight Day Lamp-Form Desk Clock, from the Collection of the American Red Cross, brought $65,725. All prices include 19.5% Buyer’s Premium.

“I’d have to say that we were pleasantly surprised across the board,” said Jim Wolf, Director of Timepiece Auctions at Heritage. “The rare Cartier examples of course performed superbly. Prices, however, were solid up and down the scale.”

Any Mystery Clock is hotly pursued when it comes on the market, which is a rare enough event in-and-of itself, and a few determined collectors weren’t going to let the opportunity to acquire such a piece get away without a fight. The result was spirited bidding and the final $155,000+ price, which more than doubled the low estimate of $70,000 for this Art Deco inspired masterpiece.

The number two lot in the auction, a very fine and exceedingly rare Cartier Silver, Gold, Jadeite and Pearl Four Dial Eight Day Lamp-Form Desk Clock, No. 1611, circa 1930s, came from the Collection of the American Red Cross and is one of only three examples known to exist.

A very similar Cartier, number 1673, sold for a hammer price in excess of $30,000 at another auction house in November 2008. At that time, research indicated that only two examples of this interesting creation existed, which were likely made by special order for a connoisseur of the art of Cartier. This third find, with its connection to the American Red Cross, more than tripled its low estimate of $20,000, arriving at $65,725 when bidding settled.

“Any time you see Cartier examples of such rarity and beauty there is always going to be a demand,” said Wolf. “Collectors knew they aren’t likely to see similar examples on the market again anytime soon and were willing to pay good money to secure these pieces.”

No conversation about fine timepieces is complete without talking about Rolex, perhaps the most recognizable high-end watch name in the world. A Rolex Diamond & Gold President with Meteorite Dial, Ref. 118388, circa 2007, was the top lot for the legendary watchmaker in the Heritage Auctions’ event, as it brought $26,290. Close on the heels of the Rolex President watch was a rare and always popular Rolex Reference 6263/6262 Steel Daytona Cosmograph, circa 1970. This beautiful example was hotly contested between erudite collectors before arriving at $21,510.

An exquisitely crafted Patek Philippe Rare Ref. 2526 Gent’s Gold Automatic Wristwatch With Enamel Dial, circa 1958, received a good deal of attention before bringing $21,510 to tie for the fourth highest lot in the auction, while a rare and very fine F.P. Journe Platinum Octa Automatic Lune Chronometer No. 051-AL, circa 2007 came in just behind it with a highly respectable final price of $21,110.

“We’re seeing solid and stable results in the fine timepiece market right now,” said Wolf. “Collectors, as evidenced by the 87% sell-through rate, are taking advantage of steady prices and getting good value for those dollars.”

Further highlights include, but are not limited to:

Martin Braun Rose Gold FC Selene With Meteorite Dial No. 012: Case: massive 18k rose gold, 44 mm, No. 012, polished and sand blasted matte finish to the column form rim and fancy lugs, exhibition back secured with screws, port hole aperture over the movement, hexagonal gold screw down crown Dial: Nambian meteorite, upper photo realistic moon phase, open rose gold hands, red tip date pointer, outer white date numerals, steel and white minute and hour dots. Movement: MAB 88, automatic, 25 jewels, rhodium finish, blued screws, bilateral steel and gold rotor on ball bearings, 42 hour power reserve. Band: black alligator with 18k rose gold buckle. Signed: fully signed Martin Braun, retail list is $31,750, condition is new. Realized: $14,937.

Jaquet Droz Rose Gold “Les Deux Fuseaux” Gent’s Two Time Zone Wristwatch With 24 Hour Indication, No. 15, circa 2007: Case: 18k rose gold, three body, 43 mm, transparent back, double sapphire crystals, ref. J015133, elegant curved and downturned lugs. Dial: central guilloche silver dials, small upper mean time dial with Roman chapters, offset twenty-four hour indicator, lower constant seconds, date aperture, rose gold sub dial frame work secured by blued steel screws, slate back ground, outer rose gold hour dots and white minute dots, blue steel independently adjustable spear hands Movement: automatic winding with twin going barrels, caliber 5L60.4, 30 jewels, monometallic balance with shock absorber, sunray finish to the rotor, adjusted to five positions. Band: black alligator with rose gold buckle. Signed: all signed Jaquet Droz, with original boxes and papers. Condition: Near new. Realized: $13,145.

Chronoswiss Fine Stainless Steel Tourbillon Wristwatch With Regulator Dial, circa 2000: Case: stainless steel, water resistant, milled edges, brushed finish to the sides, screw down display back with sapphire crystal, straight lugs secured to the band with screws, 38 mm, No. 1/0049, CH 3123 Dial: silver guilloche, outermost minute dots and five minute numerals, blue spade hands, upper Roman hour numerals, aperture with visible flying tourbillon carriage. Movement:caliber 361, 23 jewels, flying one minute tourbillon carriage with monometallic balance, twin barrels, No. 344, rhodium finish, jewels in screw down gold settings. Band: black alligator with stainless deployant clasp. Signed: all elements signed Chronoswiss. Realized: $11,352.50.

E. Howard & Co. Rare Series IV Multicolor Gold Box Hinge Pocket Watch, circa 1870s: Case: massive N size, 54 mm, 18k rose, white, yellow and green gold, central overlay initials and floral wreath on the front, back with a floral wreath and shipping dock scene, inner gold dust cover and display glass over the movement. Dial: double sunk, fancy Arabic numerals, red five minutes, blued steel crescent hands, sub seconds. Movement: 3/4 plate adjusted nickel movement, 15 jewels, No. 47715, deep screw down gold jewel settings. Signed: dial and movement signed E. Howard & Co. Boston, case is original with JS trademark, gross weight is 170.2 grams. Realized: $10,157.50.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 475,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit www.HA.com

Category: Auction News

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