L. Leroy & Cie - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XVIII Hong Kong Friday, May 24, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: L. Leroy & Cie
    Year: Circa 1930
    Case No: 23’597, Chronometre 16’929 in L’Observatoire National de Besançon
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 18’’’, jewelled
    Dimensions: 53mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and cuvette signed; cuvette further engraved “Bulletin de 1st Classe de L’Observatoire National de Besançon”
    Accessories: Accompanied by associated Leroy fitted wooden presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Louis Leroy was born in 1860 and considered by many as the equivalent of Breguet in terms of aesthetic and technical innovations. In 1900 he created the Leroy 01, the most complicated watch ever made with an astounding 24 complications on two dials, other than the chiming complications such as minute repeater, grande and petite sonnerie the Leroy 01 also indicated time in 125 cities, seasons, the winter and summer solstice, spring and autumn equinox a perpetual calendar a hygrometer, a barometer and even an altimeter. The Leroy 01 also had 3 interchangeable celestial charts representing the sky over Paris, Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro. The Leroy 01 remained the world’s most complicated timepiece until 1989 and Patek Philippe’s caliber 89.

    With the watchmaking expertise, Leroy has fruitful collaborations with some of the most esteemed observatories worldwide. On 26th August 1932, the present watch was submitted for rating at the Observatory of Besançon and achieved an impressive score of 169.35 points. Additionally, it received a first-class rating, as indicated by the engraving on the cuvette and most importantly, the prestigious viper's head hallmark stamped on the movement by the Observatory of Besançon. Not once, but twice it has been tested and stamped. Indicated by the different orientations of the stamp, an "upright" position corresponding to 1st Classe, and the viper facing right indicating 3rd Classe, a testament to the watch's success during the two trials.

    While one might expect a chronometer-grade movement to be found in a time-only watch, the current timepiece boasts an impressive minute repeating perpetual calendar chronograph movement. This is a remarkable feat of mechanical prowess, especially considering it was produced in the 1930s. The engine-turned dial adds to the watch's allure and is exceptionally well-balanced. Notably, it also features a rare digital year indication for 21 years at the 6 o'clock aperture, showcasing the watch's exceptional excellence. As the year ring starts from "1964", it is worth noting that the original owner replaced it with a new one 34 years after acquiring the watch.

Property from a Prestigious Family Collection


An important and impressive yellow gold minute repeating perpetual calendar chronograph open-face keyless pocket watch with engine-turned dial, French calendar, moon phases, leap year and digital year indication

Circa 1930
53mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and cuvette signed; cuvette further engraved “Bulletin de 1st Classe de L’Observatoire National de Besançon”

HK$160,000 - 320,000 

Sold for HK$482,600

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031

Gertrude Wong
Head of Sale, Hong Kong
+ 852 2318 2045

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XVIII

Hong Kong Auction 24 - 25 May 2024