Antique & Estate Jewelry / Blogs: All That Glitters / Sales

Sotheby’s to Auction Offbeat Vintage Luxury Watches


Sotheby’s is set to host a sale on April 11 celebrating the world of vintage watches—but in a way the auction house has never done before. In collaboration with upstart watch magazine heist-out, Sotheby’s will auction 24 luxury-brand timepieces featuring distinctive designs and embellishments, such as rough diamonds—which is the name of the sale.

“Vintage watch collecting has been enjoying a resurgence, as collectors increasingly seek out unique or differentiated pieces as a way to express themselves,” said Josh Pullan, global head of Sotheby’s luxury division, in a statement. “We’re excited to bring to market an entirely new auction concept that offers a curated focus on rare and unconventional timepieces intended to capture the imagination of vintage watch aficionados and new collectors alike. Collaborating with heist-out on Rough Diamonds is another example of Sotheby’s commitment to engaging collecting communities with innovative and creative sale formats that challenge the status quo.”

“From conceptualization to the selection of watches and the design of the scenography, both parties recognized the potential in disrupting the status quo with a fresh format,” added the cofounders of heist-out, Maxime Couturier and Lorenzo Maillard. “In an industry where each new release often melds into the next, it is invigorating to pay homage to the trailblazers of yesteryear and affirm that audacity has always been pivotal in shaping watch design.”

The avant-garde pieces are on view for the public now through April 10 at the Geneva wine cellar La Corne à Vin, where the auction also will be held. Here a few of the highlights from the Rough Diamonds sale.

Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet car-shaped wristwatch (circa 1995) in white gold with diamonds and emeralds, estimate 40,000–80,000 Swiss francs ($44,352–$88,703)
AP watch
Audemars Piguet Bamboo watch (circa 1983) in yellow gold with diamonds, estimate 8,000–12,000 CHF ($8,870-$13,305)
Jaeger LeCoultre
Jaeger-LeCoultre  ring watch (circa 1953) in yellow gold and citrine, estimate 3,000–5,000 CHF ($3,326–$5,544)
Patek set
Patek Philippe Ref. 3290 bracelet watch in yellow gold with enamel and pearl, in a set with a ring and necklace, designed (circa 1962) by Gilbert Albert, estimate 30,000–50,000 CHF $33,264–$55,440
Piaget watch
Piaget watch (circa 1970) in yellow gold with lapis lazuli and jade, estimate 20,000–30,000 CHF ($22,176–$33,264)

(Photos courtesy of Sotheby’s)

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By: Annie Davidson Watson

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