lot 39 of today´s Antiquorum auction in Hong Kong offered a very special piece, the first and No. 1 of the 1982 spring-detent tourbillon pocket watches:
click here for details
From the auction text:
One-Minute Tourbillon Three Golden Bridges" Girard-Perregaux, Chaux-de-Fonds, "Chronometre Tourbillon" No. 1. Made in 1982. Extremely fine and very rare, large 18K yellow gold hunting-cased keyless pocket watch with Perregaux caliber one-minute tourbillon carriage, detent chronometer escapement, Guillaume balance, three golden bridge movement.
C. Four body, "pomme et filet", solid, polished and engine-turned, stepped back and front covers, vacant cartouche, engine-turned interior covers. Hinged gold cuvette, glazed gold-rimmed cover for viewing the movement. D. White enamel with radial Roman and outer Arabic numerals, minute track, subsidiary seconds. Gold "Louis XV" hands. M. First quality, 20''', with three parallel golden bridges, 16 jewels, gold wheel train, Perregaux caliber one-minute tourbillon regulator with pivoted detent escapement, anibal-brass Guillaume balance with gold temperature adjustment screws, blued steel balance spring with Phillips terminal curve and amplitude limiting device, index regulator. Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 61 mm. Property of a European Collector
"An exact replica of the watch in the Girard Perregaux Museum, this magnificent pocket chronometer with one minute tourbillon regulator "sous trois ponts d'or" is part of a very small series started in 1981 and planned to be produced in twenty examples (to date only 17 pieces have been completed; these are regarded by collectors as the most beautiful tourbillons ever made). Fitted with a pivoted detent escapement, mounted on a one minute tourbillon carriage they are identical to the original watch, patented in March 1884. A period model was acquired at auction to provide the required reference. The present watch, the first of the series of these new tourbillons with three gold bridges was ready by December, 1982. An objective evaluation of that achievement can be found in the opinion of the curator of the International Museum of Horology in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Andre Curtit: "With all the severity of an experienced horology teacher, I'd say that watchmakers thirty years ago or so swore only by the achievements of the old masters of their trade. Yet with all their merits, none of them ever achieved a level of finish on a par with this, even on their most exceptional timepieces. In a word, this Tourbillon embodies the highest degree of quality that I have ever come across in my entire career."
Hammer price including buyer's premium: 846,000 HKD / 132.349 CHF / 83.276 Euro (exchange rates as of of today)
Given the list price of 1982 (500K CHF), one might say it´s a great catch!
On the other hand, given pocket watches do find limited interest regardless the complication/brand/execution these days, i think it´s actually quite an interesting result.
And certainly it´s a great catch in absolute terms, as this certainly is among the finest and rarest watches money can buy.
In this, i do envy the new owner
So whoever got it, sincere congratulations!
Greetings from Germany,