Breguet - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE Hong Kong Monday, November 25, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Breguet
    Year: Circa 1935
    Case No: No. 3361
    Dimensions: 138mm Length 102mm Width 90mm Height
    Signed: Case signed and numbered
    Accessories: Further accompanied by a gilt bird-form winding key

  • Catalogue Essay

    Breguet bird boxes are extremely rare with only a few having been offered at public auction. The quality and workmanship found in Breguet timepieces is duplicated with these amusing and beautiful mechanical works of art. Produced in two series, the first was from the mid-1930s until the 1940s with the second from the mid-1950s until the 1960s. There are three known designs, one a cigarette box like the present lot from 1935, and two different sized boxes with the larger example featuring a double mechanism, which when the bird is activated a drawer opens and retracts when the bird finished singing. An example of the larger size box sold in this room in May 2019 [Lot 1045].

    The piece was sold on December 31 1935 to M Arnoux for the sum of 2,000 French Francs and acording to the Breguet archives, this bird box was sold as a "boîte à cigarettes à couvercle, métal guilloché doré avec oiseau chanteur". In lovely original condition, the bird has a clear and loud song and makes a wonderful addition to a collection in which rare and mechanical pieces are appreciated.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1775

    Established in 1775 by Abraham Louis Breguet, widely considered the greatest watchmaker of all time, the storied brand continues to thrive in the modern era, creating exceptional high-end watches as the Swatch Group's premier prestige brand. Some of the most important and lasting inventions in watchmaking are attributed to Abraham Louis Breguet, including the tourbillon, shock resistance and the use of hammers and gongs employed in nearly all minute repeating watches made since.

    Eighteenth and nineteenth century Breguet pocketwatches are especially sought-after by collectors, and many of them were made for the elite of European society, including Napoléon and Marie Antoinette. Key wristwatches from the twentieth century include oversized dress watches, two-register chronographs, triple calendars and Type XX aviator's chronographs made for the French military and civilians.

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A very rare and highly attractive gilt metal singing bird cigarette box with winding key

Circa 1935
138mm Length 102mm Width 90mm Height
Case signed and numbered

HK$235,000 - 470,000 

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE

Hong Kong Auction 25-26 November 2019