As we prepare for 2010's fine watches market to gear up, here's a quick look at one of the more unusual timepieces to sell in the final month of 2009.
Patrizzi & Co's sale of Exceptional Watchmaking Masterpieces totaled more than $4.2m, in New York on December 14.
The star of the auction, in terms of value, was a Patek Philippe 18kt yellow gold, round-button chronograph. The Ref. 2499, from the rarer Second Series, eventually brought $720,000.
But perhaps the most unique lot in the sale was an Art Déco clock with the unusual name of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil".
The timepiece was designed and manufactured by Vladimir Makovsky for Black, Starr & Frost circa 1930.
Its singular design depicts its namesake tree in 18kt yellow gold and platinum, malachite, mother-of-pearl, coral, lapis lazuli, black onyx , rock crystal and diamonds.
The exceptional clock sold with a leather case punched with the "PG" trademark of Pierre Gravoin, and bore the Black, Starr & Frost signature on its movement.
It sold at final hammer price of $340,000.
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Image: Patrizzi & Co