An extremely rare and highly important stainless steel and pink gold chronograph wristwatch with green gold dial

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  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: 1941
    Reference No: Case style 10198, archive reference 1533
    Movement No: 45'595
    Case No: 45'595
    Material: Stainless steel and 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13VZAH, 21 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36.5mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1941 with old green gold dial with black enameled 12 and indexes and its subsequent sale in 1943 at Bologna retailer Casanova.
    Literature: The present model is prominently described and illustrated in "Audemars Piguet 20th Century Complicated Wristwatches", pp 192-193.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Audemars Piguet vintage chronograph wristwatches are among the scarcest resources in the entire field of vintage watch collecting, with little more than three hundred examples overall produced between 1930 and 1962, after which no more chronograph wristwatch will be made until the modern era.

    Such a small production combined with the little information publicly available about the topic resulted in very obscure field, until the recent publication by Audemars Piguet “Audemars Piguet 20th Century Complicated Wristwatches”, which combines all available archive information on complicated timepieces made by the company during the past century. Thanks to Audemars Piguet’s efforts, new information about the models produced is available. Regarding the present piece, the archives indicate that it is a case model 10198 and bears archive reference 1533, differentiating it from the 2-counter reference 1532 which shares the same case style.

    Offered by an Italian gentleman, a direct descendant of the original owner, this previously unknown treasure has slumbered in the safety of a deposit box for the past two decades and it is offered in astounding condition. The total output for this model is an incredibly meagre nine examples in total, with this specimen being the third to be publicly known. Out of these nine examples, only three bear a steel-and-gold case such as the present one, while the remaining six are in gold (at least five in yellow gold, while the other unspecified). This watch was one of three sold in Bologna by the retailer Casanova, the remaining six were sold in Istanbul (one piece), New York (two pieces) and Milan (three pieces).

    Furthermore, the present piece is among the largest vintage chronograph pieces made by the company, measuring 36.5mm. This is nothing less than remarkable considered that most of the vintage Audemars Piguet chronograph production features diameters varying between 32 and 34mm. Only 19 pieces are known with diameters between 34 and 36mm, and two special order watches were made exceeding this size. Thus, this model is the largest size employed by Audemars Piguet for standard production pieces.

    A final layer of appeal is given by the highly unusual alloy employed for the dial: green gold. Scarcely used during the first half of the century by some companies, and eventually abandoned altogether, it shines with a slightly greenish/champagne tinge, adding aesthetic impact and quirk to this already mesmerizing gem.

  • Maker Bio

    Audemars Piguet

    Swiss • 1881

    A specialist in the manufacture of complications since it was established in 1881, Audemars Piguet never ceases to impress with a rich history of creating bold, even audacious, timepieces underpinned by traditional watchmaking at its finest. This Le Brassus-based Swiss manufacturer is one of only two major manufacturers still owned by the founding family. Since its earliest days, AP is considered a leader in the field of minute repeaters and grande complication pocket and wristwatches. The brand is devoted to preserving the history of watchmaking in the Vallée de Joux, showcased at their superb museum in Le Brassus.


    Today, the brand is best known for its Royal Oak models, a revolutionary luxury sports watch launched in 1972. Other key models include early minute repeating wristwatches, vintage chronograph wristwatches, such as the oversized reference 5020, perpetual calendar watches and the Royal Oak Offshore, first introduced in 1993.

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101

Ref. Case style 10198, archive reference 1533
An extremely rare and highly important stainless steel and pink gold chronograph wristwatch with green gold dial

1941
36.5mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF60,000 - 120,000 
€52,800-106,000
$61,500-123,000

sold for CHF384,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018