Minute repeaters to wow at Sotheby’s November sale


Sotheby’s is set to follow up its George Daniels Horological Collection sale on November 6 with its Important Watches sale in Geneva, featuring more than 300 lots including Patek Philippe, Rolex and IWC timepieces.

The sale will take place on November 13 at the Hotel Beau-Rivage.

The sale has been organised by Sotheby’s Europe specialists Geoffroy Ader and Thomas Perazzi and is expected to bring in between CHF 6 and 8 million (£3.9m to £5.3m), with a number of rare timepieces among the lots.


Ader, head of watches for Sotheby’s Europe, said: “This sale is a celebration of elegance and style. It includes a selection of rare vintage and modern timepieces which demonstrate that watchmaking falls into the realm of art.

“Among highlights are two minute-repeating wristwatches by Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin which capture the essence of vintage wristwatches. These watches are most probably unique models which were made by the most important watchmakers in Geneva in the 1940s and 1950s, one of the richest period of modern Swiss horological history.”

The sale will be led by Patek Philippe’s Reference 2524/1, a watch sold at Tiffany & Co. and bearing the Tiffany & Co logo on the dial. The timepieces is a specially ordered 18ct yellow gold wristwatch features a movement made in 1954 and cased in 1961. It has a lower estimate of CHF250,000 (£166,000).

The second lead model in the sale is a vintage, minute-repeating Reference 4261 timepiece by Vacheron Constantin, manufactured in 1943. This very rare 18ct pink gold minute-repeating wristwatch comes to the market with a lower estimate of CHF130,000 (£86,320).

Thomas Perazzi, deputy director of the European Watch Department, added: “This autumn’s sale has been put together to meet the strong demand for timepieces of high quality and rarity and most notably rare Rolex vintage chronographs.

“I am especially delighted to present a very rare model of Rolex ref. 6238 with pulsometer scale. The reference 6238 was produced in few examples over a very short period, between 1964 and 1967. The watch in the sale is in exceptional condition and according to our research, it is only the fourth example of this reference with a pulsometer dial ever to appear on the market.”

The Rolex in question is one of several timepieces from the brand to feature in the sale. In the section focused on very rare chronographs will be the Reference 6238, often referred to as the "pre-Daytona" reference. Dating from circa 1965, this stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with registers and pulsometer scale carries an estimate of CHF60,000 to 90,000 (£39,844 to £59,765).

The sales will also include a group of fine vintage wristwatches such as a Panerai Reference 3646 with case and movement signed by Rolex, made circa 1940, and a vintage Vacheron Constantin triple-calendar version of its Cioccolatone, a model said to appear only rarely at auction.

An 18ct gold rectangular Cartier wristwatch dating from circa 1930 that once belonged to the famous German model from the Sixties, Editha Dussler, is also due to appear in the sale, as well as vintage IWCs.


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