Audemars Piguet - The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX Geneva Friday, November 10, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: 1908/1970
    Reference No: 5543BA
    Movement No: 12'535
    Case No: 12'535
    Model Name: "Grande Complication"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 18SMCRQV, 34 jewels
    Dimensions: 50mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet Extrait de Registre confirming production of the present movement in 1908 and its subsequent sale in 1970.
    Literature: A similar watch is illustrated in Audemars Piguet by Brunner, Pfeiffer-Belli and Wehrli p.155

  • Catalogue Essay

    The absolute ultimate expression of watchmaking at its very finest, the present lot features the three elements that collectors and scholars define as a “Grande Complication”: a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar and a split-seconds complication.

    In terms of technical mastery, Audemars Piguet has, since its founding in 1875, proven to be one of the greatest, not only creating bewildering complications under its own name but also supplying movements to others.

    The movement of the present lot dates from 1908 but was only cased in 1970 and is a gem of horological design with its large stepped case and no frills legible dial counterbalanced by the sublime hand decorated movement with a fully three dimensional architecture. It is interesting to note that, in the early 1970s, even though the market for pocket watches was almost non existent and that the quartz crisis was about to hit the Swiss mechanical watch industry, Audemars Piguet had the courage and desire to continue producing these extraordinarily costly pocket watches, beautifully embodying the brands expertise in complications.

    Pocket watches remain undervalued today and the present ultra-complicated piece with superlative hand decoration made during a time where no computers existed, presents an exciting and rare opportunity for the savvy connoisseur to own a true horological masterpiece.

  • Artist Biography

    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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Ref. 5543BA
A very rare and attractive yellow gold open face minute repeating perpetual calendar watch with split-seconds chronograph with 30 minute register and moon phases

50mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF60,000 - 90,000 

Sold for CHF87,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX

Geneva Auctions 11 - 12 November 2017