National Jeweler Network

Watch Auctions

Breguet pocket watch to sell for as much as $1.1M

November 04, 2013


This pocket watch is said to be a prime example of the “creative genius” of legendary watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet.

Click here to see Wallace, Breguet and more watch lots from the auction.

Geneva--Sotheby’s upcoming watch auction will celebrate the legacy of horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet and include the sale of a highly complex and rare pocket watch.

On Nov. 12 in Geneva, Sotheby’s will offer an extra flat pair cased gold half-quarter repeating pocket watch with equation of time, power reserve, indication calendar and moon phase based on chronometer principles from Breguet.

The estimated sale price for the timepiece is $650,000 to $1.1 million.

The watch, the auction house said, boasts an exceptionally large number of complications for a timepiece from the mid-1800s and is one of only three known Breguet watches from this period to have these specific complications and design. One of the others is in the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem while the third once belonged to Saïd Pacha, the Viceroy of Egypt, and now is property of his successor, Ismaïl Pacha.

Lord Henry Seymour Conway bought the pocket watch from Breguet the company (the watchmaker himself already had passed by this time) in Paris in 1831. Even at that time, these watches were expensive; they sold for 7,000 to 8,800 Francs, a hefty sum in those days.

Conway bequeathed the watch to his brother, Richard Seymour Conway, fourth Marquis of Hertford, who then passed it on to his illegitimate son, the now-famed collector Sir Richard Wallace.

It is reported that Wallace wore and used this particular pocket watch until his death in 1890 at the age of 72. Coming directly from his descendants, this is the first time this timepiece will appear on the market.

Sotheby’s Important Watches Nov. 12 sale at the Hôtel Beau-Rivage in Geneva includes a total of 330 timepieces, both modern and vintage.