Sotheby's is to introduce the first of its day-sales of important watches with an auction entitled The Founding Fathers and Great Inventions of Modern Horology.
The landmark sale is to take place on May 15, 2012 at the auction house's Geneva showroom. It will mark the first of many new day-sales of watches from Sotheby's, designed to "facilitate the participation of collectors from around the world".
The auction will feature a section devoted to the French watchmaker, Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747‐1823). Comprising 45 timepieces, the section will showcase important works from the horologist who designed items for Queen Marie-Antoinette, Napoleon I and famously, the Queen of Naples, for whom he made the first wristwatch.
The stand-out item from the Breguet section is an exquisite carriage clock, which once belonged to Prince Aldobrandini of Florence. The elaborate timepiece is one of the largest of its kind made by Breguet and almost identical to another carriage clock sold to the Queen of Spain in 1831.
Featuring a full-year calendar, moon-phases and an alarm, the intricate gilt brass clock is expected to draw bids in the region of CHF 350,000-450,000 ($385,000‐495,000).
The ever-successful Patek Philippe brand will star among all the major manufacturers in the auction, with a 1992 18k yellow gold grand complication pocket watch ref. 959, expected to bring CHF 500,000-800,000 ($550,000-880,000).
Patek Philippe watches continually beat estimates and set records with large bids from collectors who value them for their complications and detail. Last Wednesday (April 25), a New York auction house saw four records smashed in its sale of Patek Philippe watches, while Sotheby's is to follow its May auction with a ground-breaking sale of the renowned Henry Graves Jr Collection in June.
For those looking to begin a collection, Paul Fraser Collectibles has this Longines Olympic Series watch. A fantastic entry-level offering, the Olympic Series is a design classic with timeless elegance.