A majestic carriage clock from the luxury watchmaker Breguet featured as the top lot at Sotheby's in Geneva yesterday (May 15).
The auction, entitled The Founding Fathers and Great Inventions of Modern Horology, marked the first of Sotheby's day-sales of important watches.
The new day-sales are designed to "facilitate the participation of collectors from around the world", with the auction house hoping to attract more international bidders.
The carriage clock featured in a section devoted to the French horologist and founder of the company, Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823). The fantastic piece brought the highest bids in the section, which comprised 45 timepieces from the famed maker.
The carriage clock, boasting calendar, alarm and moon phase features, sold for CHF 422,500 ($448,250), sitting comfortably at the top end of its CHF 350,000-400,000 ($371,330-477,503) estimate.
The carriage clock was followed by a limited edition Breguet pink gold tourbillion wristwatch, ref. 3857. With jump hours, retrograde date and leap year indication, the piece made CHF 242,500 ($257,515).
The auction took place just one day after Christie's Geneva sale of Important Watches saw a Breguet watch set a new world record at $4.7m.
Patek Phillipe continued its run of auction success with an 18k yellow gold minute repeating wristwatch. The fine 1998 watch, ref. 5029J, brought CHF 362,500 ($384,728), the second highest bids in the sale.
April 25 saw four world records set in New York for Patek Phillipe, confirming its reputation as the world's most coveted luxury brand.
Those starting out in the world of watch collecting will want to view Paul Fraser Collectibles' Longines Olympic Series watch. Albert Einstein's own Longines wristwatch sold for $596,000 in 2008, setting a world record for the brand.