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A very special piece at Antiquorum

November 25 2006 at 12:15 AM

PeterCDE  (Login pc01)


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,


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(no login)

Congrats to the new discerning owner!!

November 25 2006, 3:16 AM 

Peter you are too fast!

I hope the new owner recognises what a gem this peice is! the 1982 3 Golden Bridges Tourbillon Pocket Watch is incredible! What a wonderful buy for what I think is a bargin! (well, as much as US$110k can be called a bargin!!) This is a truly historic piece that I would love to own and had i not bought a couple of extravagent pieces this year, might well have bid for!


Its a heavy watch. It is also much bigger than I thought. Its incredible detail of engraving on the case, inside the front and back covers too. The visible policshing is amazing.

THe second hand ticks 3 times per second, much slower than i am used to seeing in wrist watches these days i think.

The hands are elaborate but due to the size of the watch and dial, it does not overwhelm the watch.

The 3 Bridges are HUGE! how great! it really shows off what this watch is all about. The toubillon cage is engaging and blended with the brdiges is a wonderful site.

sadly the lady showming me the watch had no idea what it was!! but i did and i wish next time i will have a chance to bid on one of these!!

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(Login pc01)

Thank you!

November 25 2006, 3:56 AM 

Oh, i was SO excited
Admittedly i was following the auction live (via the web interface) and couldn´t wait

Thanks a lot for your impressions!
I´d love to see that one up close. I´ve seen one of these once, but that´s unlikely to ever happen again simply because there are just 18 in existance and chances are low another will be publically shown very soon. So it´s a very rare occurence.

The funny thing is two vintage pocket watches with Three Gold Bridges movements, but not tourbillons, sold in the region of around 30-34K Euro within the last weeks.
In this, the 1982 piece is a real bargain and little money for what it is. Making these required a lot more efforts than any wrist tourbillon and as usual, the first piece is always the most difficult to make.
In absolute terms it´s a large sum of money for sure, but i think the 1982 piece is more than excellent value if comparing it to more modern wrist watches selling in that price bracket. Actually GP´s tourbillons usually go for less, which makes the pocket watch stand out. And it´s among the most expensive GP pocket tourbillons, if not including the small 13" ligne pieces which are extremely rare.

Back in 1982, tourbillons made for a rare breed.
Since invention in early 1800´s, only about 600-800 tourbillons were made until 1980´s and it was only with the increasing interest in mechanical watches these things came to life then. In the year of introduction, the Three Bridges pocket watch was a real surprise. The more so it was a completely new crafted piece and not using a vintage movement.
I think André Curtit is not wrong to say it´s among the finest things ever made in the watch valley and given the time it was made, the way it was made and the pedigree, it´s really a historic piece.

I´m envious about the chance to see it up close, though



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(Login JCY88)
PP Discussion Group

btw that was me! not annoymous!! nt

November 27 2006, 2:02 AM 


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(Login EuJax)
PP Discussion Group

Wow...thats the best laa...apart from the automaton piece i saw, this is the best...

November 27 2006, 5:38 AM 

Pocket watch by GP i would say...beautiful and big bridges! thanks Peter.


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