We start the review of our May auction with the early timepieces. A table clock of museum quality made by Jeremias Pfaff in Augsburg [lot no. 148] achieved a price of 26,300 € - a fitting result for a truly remarkable object, given the elaborate design depicting a forest scene with a magnificent stag resting at the foot of an oak tree.
Also made in Augsburg - with a slightly higher price of 27,500 € - was the horizontal table clock by Hans Straus [lot no. 161].
Another German piece, a round table clock [lot no. 175] with a very unusual design achieved 22,500 €. The sum of 31,300 € was paid by a customer for the astronomical monstrance clock made in Dresden [lot no. 165],
while the table clock "The Madonna in a Mandorla" [lot no.156, also from Dresden] found its new owner for no less than 33,800 €. A carriage clock made by Samuel Panier à Lyon [lot no. 160], from the erstwhile Vehmeyer collection was sold for a remarkable 45,000 €, the clock with the rampant lion and the master's mark MD from Augsburg [lot no. 152] for 40,700 €.
#156, 160, 152
The auctions in Frankfurt have been a meeting point for national and international collectors for a while now and the room at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel was predictably full, when Stefan Muser started off with the traditional Glashütte stretch.
Exceptionally high prices well above the estimate were reached by lot numbers 14, a heavy hunting case watch by Lange & Söhne in a Graff case that eventually sold for 71,200 €, and 19, an extremely rare Lange & Söhne chronograph with minute repeater selling for 81,300 €. A remarkable result was also achieved by lot no. 29, a pocket watch with minute repeater and chronograph originally delivered to industrialist Julius Heinzel Baron Hohenfels in Lodz for the proud sum of 2,000 mark – it went for 45,000 €.
Impressive knock-down prices were achieved for Glashütte wristwatches, with the special Huber edition of an "1815 Kalenderwoche" made by Lange & Söhne reaching 25,000 € [lot no. 34], and the platinum "Lange 1" selling for 30,000 € [lot no. 37].
The prices of the numerous high-quality Rolex models kept their stable price level as usual, selling for 27,500 € ("Milgauss" dating from the late 1970s [lot no. 238]) and 39,000 € (an "Oyster Cosmograph" reference 6265 [lot no. 269]);
#238, 269, 248
three models of reference 6263 "Cosmograph Daytona" went for 35,000 € [lot no. 248], 46,000 € [lot no. 282] and finally 51,300 € [lot no. 239], a full set of the so-called "Big Red" chronograph.
Among the top quality wristwatches made by Patek Philippe some timepieces stood out nevertheless: four references 5110 "World Time" representing all four different case versions in gold, white gold, rose gold and platinum.
#81, 79, 82
They went to their new owners for 18,800 € [lot no. 81], 22,500 € [lot no. 79], 25,700 € [lot no. 82] and 27,500 € [lot no. 80].
Two gold references 5070 from a range of the annually limited production of 250 pieces achieved 47,500 € each [lot no. 85 and lot no. 86].
The astronomical chronographs reference 3970 with perpetual calendar, leap year, moon phase and 24 hour indication both came in their original cases and with complete documentation and accessories - they found their new homes for 57,500 € [lot no. 74] and 65.000 € [lot no. 93].
Patek Philippe's "Nautilus" is on the fast track to becoming a true cult piece. Lot no. 83 was a steel "Jumbo" reference 3700 and sold for 55,000 €, while the white gold "Jumbo" reference 3711 [lot no. 67] eventually sold for 86,300 € after a fierce bidding war among telephone bidders and a large number of advance bids – making it the most expensive wristwatch of the auction.
Other brands also have beautiful and high-priced timepieces; a section of our catalogue was devoted to the so-called "generation sets", where a collector grouped related watches from different time periods. Two IWC "Portuguese" watches dating from 1942 and 2008 [lot no. 425] achieved a price of 26,300 € and a collection of 24(!) Omega "Constellations" [lot no. 127] was eventually sold for 37,500 €.
Those who like their timepieces a little more edgy went for the "Year of the Horse" made by Vacheron & Constantin [lot no. 477] that sold for 48,300 € or the eccentric Urwerk [lot no. 522] for 50,000 €. Then again, the very classic, fabulous Omega chronograph dating from the 1940s [lot no. 126] attracted much attention in the run-up to the auction and finally sold for double the estimate: 52,300 €.
#477, 522, 126
Two extravagantly embellished boxes were knocked down for high prices: a gold box attributed to Leferre / Malliée with "fixés-sous-verre" ornamentation [lot no. 207] sold for 42,200 €, the gold and enamel musical box attributed to Zoller/Magnin/Richter [lot no. 206] even went for 53,800 €.
The Riefler clock with a copper tank [serial number 254, lot no. 48] met with great interest. Even though numerous modifications had been made over time, the estimate was doubled and the clock went to its new owner for 17,500 €. The illustrious previous owner may have been a factor in this – the clock had its place in the offices or workshops of the Jaeger LeCoultre company for many decades. Made by Jaeger was the extremely rare, impressive "Duoplan" demonstration model [lot no. 45], which reached a price of 33,800 €.
Maritime chronometers traditionally meet their faithful fan base at our auctions and this auction was no exception – all bar one found new owners for excellent prices, among them pieces by Ditisheim [lot no. 47] for 10,700 €, Barraud [lot no. 51] for 13,800 € and Breguet [lot no. 39] for 15,000 €.
#47, 51, 39
A particularly remarkable pocket watch at the end: made by Alphonse Pavid à Genève, this heavy astronomical rattrapante chronograph with perpetual calendar and moon phase [lot no. 390] is one of only a few pocket watches with these types of complication ever to be submitted for chronometer testing. A proud collector took this exquisite piece home for 93,000 €.