Rare automatons and fine vintage timepieces will be offered in Geneva next month, as part of the Sotheby’s Important Watches sale.
Leading the sale will be a remarkable and rare musical automaton clock in the form of a birdcage, a 19th century "masterwork of horology" expected to sell for more than $800,000 (read our full story here).
Another historically important lot is a cylinder inking chronograph, designed by horologist Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec in 1821 as a timing instrument for horse races, offered with an estimate of $82,500-$124,000.
Further standout pieces will include a Patek Philippe Ref. 844 white gold pocket watch estimated at $288,000-$391,000; and a gem-set Art Deco desk clock in yellow gold and platinum by Vacheron Constantin, made circa 1926 and estimated at $82,500-$124,000.
The sale will also offer a highly sought-after Rolex Ref. 6063 ‘Jean-Claude Killy’ wristwatch, one of just 70 yellow gold examples with lozenge-shaped markers, estimated at $103,000-$155,000; a Tag Heur 18 karat yellow gold automatic chronograph wristwatch presented to Formula One legend Ronnie Peterson, valued at $10,300-$20,600; and an important and rare Jaeger-Le-Coultre limited edition platinum tourbillon wristwatch known as the ‘Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2’, estimated at $155,000-$257,000.
"We greatly look forward to welcoming collectors on Saturday the 14th," said Pedro Reiser, Department Manager of Sotheby’s Watch Division in Geneva. "At centre stage will be the unique and beautiful bird-cage musical automaton and we are honoured to have been entrusted with such a rarity.
"The wider sale will offer a broad range of tempting opportunities: those with an eye for history will find rare and fascinating pieces; the finest manufacturers are represented, including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Jaeger-LeCoultre; and lovers of the finest vintage and modern wristwatches will find stunning examples to instantly complement their personal style."
The sale takes place at the Hôtel Beau-Rivage on Saturday May 14.