Sotheby’s pioneers first online auction of pocket watches


Sotheby’s will pioneer in June the first online auction entirely dedicated to world-class pocket watches – a market that has never ceased to fascinate watch lovers and has recently seen a new surge of interest, with the return to fashion of fob watches.

The sale, which will be open for bidding on from 3 until 16 June, is the third instalment of the legendary collection ‘Masterworks of Time’ which set a swathe of records last year.

Entitled Abraham-Louis Breguet, Horologist extraordinaire, the 126-lot sale will showcase one of the most comprehensive offerings of timepieces by the father of modern watchmaking to appear at auction.

It will be led by a masterpiece by Breguet (1747-1823), made in 1816 for Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane Bart, the Scottish General and astronomer who gave his name to one of Australia’s largest cities, Brisbane (Lot 27, est. CHF 300,000 – 500,000).Sotheby’s pioneers first online auction of pocket watches

Alongside treasures by Breguet, further highlights in the sale include the Dent Ultra Complication from 1904 – one of the most complicated watches ever made (Lot 34, est. CHF 300,000 – 500,000) and one of Patek Philippe’s most coveted vintage pocket watches: an ‘Heures Universelles’ watch from 1948 with a map of North America (Lot 126, est. CHF 250,000 – 350,000).

Daryn Schnipper, Chairman of Sotheby’s International Watch Division, said: “‘Masterworks of Time’ is an incredible collection that puts the spotlight on revolutionary geniuses whose inventions were vital catalysts in the history of horology, from Jehan Cremsdorff and George Margetts to Adolph Lange and George Daniels, to name a few.

“It is therefore hardly surprising that the man who put together this collection also had a fascination for Abraham-Louis Breguet.

“Breguet was a superstar pioneer, a perpetual innovator, admired and wooed by the intellectual and power elites of his time.

“I can’t help thinking that he would have enjoyed the idea of shaking up tradition and seeing some of his most ground-breaking creations beamed to every corner of the Earth in the first online sale ever dedicated to pocket watches.”