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Leibish & Co

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Breguet Sympathique Clock Sells for Record $6.8 Million



The Duc d’OrlĂ©ans Breguet Sympathique clock set a new auction record for any clock and the second-highest price for any timepiece at auction when it sold for more than $6.8 million at Sotheby’s New York Important Watches & Clocks Auction on Tuesday.

The distinguished example of the exceptionally rare Sympathique clocks, which helped cement the fame and renown of French watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, was last offered at auction in Sotheby’s 1999 when it sold for $5.7 million. This price has remained the auction record for any clock until Tuesday’s sale.

Invented by Breguet in 1795 and presented to the public for the first time at the Exposition Nationale des Produits de l’Industrie in 1798, the sympathique clock was a system consisting of a clock and a watch. The clock was designed to hold the watch in its cradle, where it was automatically adjusted and rewound. The term sympathique was chosen by Breguet to express the notion of harmony and concord.

The Important Watches & Clocks auction totaled more than $11.6 million marking the highest result for a various-owners sale of watches and clocks at Sotheby’s New York, the auction house said in a statement. In addition to the Sympathique, both vintage and modern wristwatches by Patek Philippe dominated the day’s top results, led by a rare 46 mm 18K Yellow Gold Center Seconds Wristwatch, 1955, Ref 2512/1 that achieved $962,500, more than five times its high estimate of $150,000.

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