Audemars Piguet - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: Circa 1959
    Reference No: 5131BA
    Movement No: 73'818
    Case No: 15'975
    Model Name: "Disco Volante"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 2003, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather Audemars Piguet strap
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Audemars Piguet pin buckle
    Dimensions: 34mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet box and additional black suede strap.

  • Catalogue Essay

    According to the Archives of Audemars Piguet, the present watch was sold in 1959 to Türler.

    One of the first forays of Gerald Genta - goldsmith by training - in the realm of watches is represented by Audemars Piguet's “Disco Volante” (Flying Saucer) models. In the 1950s, when they were launched, Genta had just started working (he completed his goldsmith training in 1950), and had developed a relationship with Audemars Piguet. Reportedly, Genta sold at the time watch designs for 15 CHF a piece but, while his name was obviously not enjoying the same standing he achieved by the end of his career, his skills were already more than apparent.

    The present ref. 5131BA is equipped with ultra-thin calibre 2003 (a refinement of cal. 9ML and in production for half a century from 1953 to, ironically, 2003) and it is apparent how the visionary talent of the master designer was already well at work. The dial on this model is usually simple, as in the present case (but examples are known with more elaborate 2- or 3-tone dials), and the aesthetic impact of the piece is mostly entrusted to its case design. The architecture of the watch is defined by its large bezel, which Genta customised in a number of ways (clou-de-paris, hobnail, brushed, florentine pattern, etc.) and minute lugs, anticipating the trend of elaborate cases and clean dials which will bloom in the late 1950s to the 1970s.

    The present example of the model impresses with the superb condition of the case: most probably unpolished and with a subtle layer of oxidation which not only indicates the watch was not used for a long time, but furthermore grants it a particularly warm sheen. The dial as well is absolutely unrestored and well-preserved, and it bears the “added bonus” of the Türler signature, indicating the watch was retailed by the prestigious Zürich jeweler.

  • 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. 5131BA
An exquisite, eclectic and very well-preserved yellow gold wristwatch with box, retailed by Turler

Circa 1959
34mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF3,000 - 5,000 

Sold for CHF13,860

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East Director

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021