The Leopard Mysterieuse by Laurence Graff was recently auctioned off at Antiquorum, the “world’s premier watch auctioneer” in Geneva. Pre-auction estimate ranged from $155,000 to $230,000. The Mystery Clock was created in the 1980s and is just one of many gem-set objets d’art pieces created by the renowned London jeweler.
Turquoise, black onyx, nephrite jade, and mother-of-pearl make up the pedestal frame. Two climbing panthers are set with emerald eyes, 150 cts. t.w. of diamond melee, and leopard spots from dozens of onyx cabochons. This one-of-a-kind clock is driven by a 15-jewel movement hidden in the black onyx and 18k gold base.
The hands are invisibly mounted on smoky quartz disks sandwiched within two large faceted smoky quartzes.
While Cartier made the mystery clock design famous in the early 1900s, numerous other jewelers created their own. From the mid 1980s through the early 1990s, Graff created many that were commissioned but unrecorded.