Brequet Watches Star in First Patrizzi Auction

Patrizzi & Co., a new watch auction house, has announced its first auction for Nov. 18, dedicated to watchmaking masterpieces. It will be held at Geneva’s Hotel Richemond, and simultaneously broadcast on the Internet. Previews will be held in Geneva, New York, and Milan.

Two watches are rare timepieces by 18th century master watchmaker Abraham Breguet, who invented a number of horlogical innovations, including grand complications, the constant force escapement, and the tourbillon regulator. Breguet used these three together in only three watches. One (pictured) will be offered for sale at the Nov. 18 Patrizzi & Co. auction, accompanied by copies of the original Breguet development papers for it. (Estimated value: $550,000 to $850,000).

Another is a rare 18K and enamel 1817 Breguet “equation of time” pocket watch with mean and true solar time, manual perpetual calendar, and phases of the moon, accompanied by a copy of Breguet’s original drawing. Breguet made only three. This is the first, and the only one in its original condition. (Estimate: $550,000 to $850,000).

Other highlights of the sale will include a limited edition 1940 18K rose gold Vacheron Constantin extra flat minute repeater (Estimate: $ 180,000 – $360,000), and an 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe perpetual calendar, with moon phases, square button chronograph, and tachometer  (Estimate: $180,000 – $360,000).

Patrizzi & Co. was founded this year by Osvaldo Patrizzi, former chairman of Antiquorum Auctioneers, and some of his former management team. Launched in April, it offers several innovative concepts using new I.T. technologies, while eliminating some shortcomings of online auctions, says the company.

The public can participate in simultaneous auctions on multiscreens, either online or in the auction room, letting them concentrate on a particular session while following parallel ones. This format also allows more lots, with more choices, to be auctioned in less time than traditional auctions now, claims Patrizzi & Co.

The new company also is abolishing buyer’s commissions—traditionally paid to an auction house by bidders on objects they purchase—and will provide a five-year “guarantee of authenticity” for what clients buy, eliminating the risk factor in buying important pieces in Internet auctions. Downloadable online catalogs, regularly updated, also will be available at the auction house Web site.

Four to six annual auctions—both traditional and thematic—are planned for Geneva, Hong Kong, and New York. The next Patrizzi & Co. auction will be for the Davide Blei Vintage Rolex Collection, on Dec. 14 at the Grand Hotel et de Milan, in Milan, Italy.