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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Patek, Rolex and Erotic Watches to Headline Antiquorum’s Geneva Auction

Patek Philippe Ref 3939

More than 550 vintage timepieces will be up for auction at Antiquorum’s “Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces” auction to be held March 27 at the Mandarin Oriental Geneva.

The top lot is a Patek Philippe Ref 3939 HP minute-repeating platinum watch with one-minute tourbillion regulator and enamel Breguet dial (pictured above). The timepiece may be only the fifth example of this reference to appear at auction, Antiquorum said. It’s estimated to sell for CHF $444,000 – 555,000. The sale also includes a collection of 30 erotic watches and objects that were the property of a European collector.

Other sale highlights (all estimates U.S. dollar) include:

A Patek Philippe Ref. 2524/1, retailed by Gübelin Lucerne. This minute-repeating 18k yellow gold wristwatch with subsidiary seconds dial was made in 1954, with only eight pieces manufactured (auction estimate, $333,000 – 444,000).

A Rolex "Oyster Perpetual" Ref. 6284, 14K yellow gold wristwatch with a cloisonné enamel dial, by Marguerite Koch, representing the map of the two americas (estimate, $144,300 - $210,900).

Another Rolex on the block is the "Cosmograph Daytona", Ref. 6239 “Paul Newman,” made circa 1963 with an auction estimate of $44,300 - $55,500.

A Vacheron & Constantin Ref. 4582 pocket watch sold to H. Thommeu on Feb. 7, 1950. This large 20k yellow gold keyless dress watch with single hand and special champleve enamel and diamond-set dial is the only watch with single-hand ever made by Vacheron & Constantin (estimate, $12,000 to $16,600).

 The highlight of the erotic watch collection is the repeating musical watch with four actions and concealed erotic automaton "Musique d'Amour," made circa 1810. This watch is the work of Genevan watchmaker Henry Capt and is one of the very few known examples with two automaton scenes, Antiquorum said. It has three animations on the dial instead of the usual two—musicians and birds automaton scene on the dial plate and concealed erotic automaton scene, playing at will. The arm of each musician moves and a scene of two billing doves in an arbor, one dove appears when the music starts and disappears at the end of the tune. The enamel erotic scene is of very high quality depicting an aristocratic interior, of particular note is the pillar in the scene which is very cleverly enameled, with flecks of gold dust to accurately simulate lapis lazuli (estimate, $77,760 - $100,000).

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