Gübelin - The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE Geneva Friday, May 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Gübelin
    Year: circa 1950
    Case No: 165'649
    Material: 18k white gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal.72, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k white gold buckle
    Dimensions: 34mm. X 34mm.
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    There are epiphanous and transcendental moments when a watch we have never seen or suspected is placed before us and its sheer beauty, presence and vibrancy provides a sense of exhilaration. The present Gübelin is one of these timepieces.

    Gübelin is a Swiss-based, family-owned, jewelry and watch retailer founded in 1854. What started out as a small watchmaker’s watch shop in the picturesque town of Lucerne has today become a Swiss powerhouse selling the most prestigious watch brands.

    Not content with putting its signature on dials next to the names of famous brands it retailed, Gübelin decided, in the early 1920s, to commission some of the greatest Swiss makers such as Audemars Piguet, Haas Neveux or Niton to create unique, attractive and sophisticated watches bearing solely the Gübelin signature on the dial.

    The present lot from the 1950s is a mystery in the sense that we have never seen another Gübelin square chronograph like it on the market. Its vividly contemporary 34mm. X 34mm. white gold case wears much larger on the wrist than the size suggests due to its square shape. The case is in fact quite similar if not identical to the Rolex reference 3529 but larger.

    Many elements set the present lot apart from other square chronographs from prestigious brands such as Rolex, Universal Geneve or Mathey-Tissot produced in the 1940s-1950s. First is its sheer size, almost 70% larger than those from the previously mentioned brands whose cases measured 26mm X 26mm or less. The second element is the white gold case, a metal we have not yet seen before in any other square chronograph of that era. These elements lead us to believe that this watch was executed upon special order and could quite possibly be a unique piece.

    The case is superbly well preserved with perfectly crisp hallmarks above the bottom chronograph pusher and the top left lug, we are of the opinion the case has never been polished.

    This rare find, in superb condition will appeal to the most discerning collector thanks notably to the mesmerizing combination of large white gold case and two tone silver dial.


An exceptionally rare and very attractive large square white gold chronograph wristwatch with two tone dial

circa 1950
34mm. X 34mm.
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF137,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017