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Highlights from the Auctions - Sotheby's London, 22 September 2015

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On September 22, Sotheby's will be back to London for an auction of important watches.

The sale includes  a wide variety of timepieces from the 16 century to the present day from manufacturers like Patek Philippe, Cartier, Breguet, Vacheron Constantin and Rolex.

We highlight below four rare and beautiful timepieces.

Lot 75 is a historically important yellow gold pocket watch with enamel dial produced by Louis Cottier and Agassiz and Co. in 1945 and known as "the Victory Watch".

The polychrome cloisonné enamel dial features Saint George slaying the dragon, a 24h chapter ring with day and night indication, an outer silvered chapter ring engraved with 44 world locations with London in gilt at 12 o’clock as home town. The diameter of the watch is 46 mm.

The history of this timepiece goes back to 1945 when a group of people living in Geneva decided to show their gratitude and solidarity to the four commanders of the Allied forces who won World War Two: Charles de Gaulle, Harry S. Truman, Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill.

The group commissioned Agassiz and Co. to manufacture four important watches featuring a world time complication, each with a different enamel dial. The Swiss watchmaker Louis Cottier (the inventor of the "Heure Universelle" mechanism) played the key role in this project by preparing the movements as well as designing the dials and the engravings.

At the top of the case back, there is a personalized dedication. The one on Churchill’s watch reads “1939 - Prime Minister Winston Spencer Churchill - 1945”.

Thanks to the Cottiers’ archives, we know that the dials he designed were produced by Maison Stern (since 1981 known as Stern Creations).

Estimate: GBP 60,000 - 100,000  (Euro 85,428 - 142,380 / US$ 93,354 - 155,590)

The stainless steel Patek Philippe chronograph with sector dial, a reference 1463 made in 1947, (lot 190) is one of the timepieces that could achieve the highest amount at the sale.

The two-tone silvered sector dial, in impressively good conditions, features black painted Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 and baton indexes, subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 30-minute register, outer minute track and tachometer scale. In addition to its aesthetic qualities, the two-tone finish of the dial has a practical function by creating a clear delineation between the tachometer scale and tracking for the chronograph seconds/constant minutes.

The case with two round chronograph pushers to the band and screw-down back has a a diameter of 35 mm. Reference 1463 was the first water-resistant chronograph model made by Patek Philippe. Launched in 1940 and produced until circa 1969, the model was predominantly produced in yellow gold.

According to most experts, only 650 examples of the reference 1463 were produced and, among them, no more than 190 were in stainless steel.

The estimate of the lot 190 is GBP 55,000 - 75,000 (Euro 78,309 - 106,785 / US$ 85,575 - 116,693).

Lot 205 is a perpetual calendar and minute repeating wristwatch in platinum (ref. 30020P) produced in 1995 by Vacheron Constantin.

The stepped case with tear-drop lugs has a diameter of 37 mm and features a slide to the band for minute repeating.

The case is fitted with sapphire crystal to the dial and a display back made of acrylic which allows the tone of the repeater to be loud and produce a purer sound. Reference 30020 was produced in a limited series of 200 pieces.

Estimate: GBP 50,000 - 80,000 GBP (Euro 71,190 - 113,904 / US$ 77,795 - 124,472).

The last highlight is lot 81, a Vacheron Constantin chronograph wristwatch with telemeter and tachometer scales manufactured in 1945.

The two-tone silvered dial has applied pink gold Arabic and baton indexes with two engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 30 minutes register.

The 34 mm pink gold case, alternating brushed and polished finishes, houses a V 492 hand-wound calibre based on a Valjoux 23 ebauche.

This example is only one of the approximately 110 Vacheron Constantin watches produced in pink gold with the calibre V 492 between 1943 and 1964.

Estimate: GBP 8,000 - 12,000 (Euro 11,390 - 17,086 / US$ 12,447 - 18,671).

More details and the full list of lots on sale at Sotheby's.

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