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  • Condition Report

  • Description

    View our Conditions of Sale.

  • Manufacturer: Audemars Piguet
    Year: Movement manufactured 1943, cased 1953
    Reference No: 5520
    Movement No: 45'588
    Case No: 4334
    Model Name: "One of Nine"
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13'", 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, and movement signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by Audemars Piguet Extract from the Register confirming production of the present watch in 1943 with steel case and then re-cased in 18K pink gold by Audemars Piguet in 1954, service invoice from 2017, and service letter from Audemars Piguet.

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Rare" is a word that can hardly begin to describe vintage Audemars Piguet chronographs. In fact, little more than three hundred examples were produced overall between 1930 and 1962, after which no more chronograph wristwatches would be made until the modern era.

    Such a small production combined with the little information publicly available resulted in a 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 this wonderful publication, many details highlighting the rarity of reference 5520 have come to light.

    The model is exemplified by archival picture 1068, and was produced in nine documented examples, only two of which in pink gold, the rest in yellow gold. Intriguingly, the archive picture shows the model as featuring olive-shape pushers, but all known examples feature rectangular pushers - a fact Audemars Piguet ascribes to the more fashionable and modern aesthetics of rectangular pushers. According to the book, four of these pieces are re-cased versions of older watches from the 1940s. Looking at the Certificate of Origin issued by Audemars Piguet, the present piece appears to be one such example: it was in fact born in 1943 with a stainless steel case, apparently never sold, eventually recased in the present configuration in 1953 and sold in July of the same year. Such fascinating history reflects the newfound wealth appearing in Europe after WWII, which prompted increased demand for precious metal timepieces.

    One of the rarest, serially produced chronograph wristwatch models of the past centuries, and sporting extremely modern aesthetics thanks to its oversized (for the time) case dimensions, the piece is furthermore offered in virtually “as-new” condition thanks to an incredible and painstaking restoration effort by Audemars Piguet in Le Brassus made recently. In fact, the original service invoice detailing the intervention and the high cost is supplied with the timepiece.

    Given the increasing collector interest for exceptional, vintage wristwatches and the intrinsic scarcity of Audemars Piguet chronographs, the present lot presents an extremely rare opportunity for the savvy collector to obtain such a large, important, and sublime vintage chronograph.

  • 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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48

Ref. 5520
An exceptionally rare, oversized, and sublime pink gold chronograph wristwatch with Extract from the Archives, one of only two known

Movement manufactured 1943, cased 1953
38mm Diameter
Case, dial, and movement signed.

Estimate
$70,000 - 140,000 
CHF65,300-131,000
€62,400-125,000
HK$546,000-1,090,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293

[email protected]

 

The 2021 New York Watch Auction

New York Auction 11 - 12 December 2021