A rare Mido watch, commissioned and owned by legendary car maker Ettore Bugatti, sold at an auction in France last Saturday for $340,000 as part of a specialist auction for vintage watches and automobiles.
The Italian-born French automobile designer and manufacturer, who built Bugatti in the early 20th century, commissioned a number of watches from Swiss watchmaker Mido during his career, many of them as gifts or prizes for racing drivers of the time.
The watch had a pre-sale valuation of €80,000 to €120,000, but worldwide interest attracted a bidding war that drove the price up to three times its estimate.
The watch, which is designed to look like the radiator of Bugatti cars of the era, was ordered from Mido some time between 1926 and 1932.
All the Mido Bugatti watches were originally on leather straps except Mr Bugatti’s personal piece, which is on a yellow gold bracelet.
Its gold case, housing a manually wound movement, weighs 27.2 grams and measures 22.5mm by 34mm.