Philippe Dufour - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Philippe Dufour
    Year: 1996
    Movement No: N°8
    Model Name: Duality
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 10, 40 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K pink gold buckle
    Dimensions: 34mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by wooden fitted box, International Guarantee and Certificate of Origin and outer box.
    Literature: Philippe Dufour is prominently featured in Twelve Faces of Time: Horological Virtuosos by Elisabeth Doerr and Ralph Baumgarten pp. 10-25 and in Masters of Contemporary Watchmaking by Michael Clerizo pp. 72-91.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Duality was introduced in 1996. Dufour’s second wristwatch was, like the Grande & Petite Sonnerie wristwatch, a world première: the world’s first wristwatch incorporating a double escapement (thus its name)featuring two independent balance wheels compensated with a central differential gear.

    Having two balances connected in this way enables greater accuracy as it allows the balances to average out their rates. If one runs slightly faster and the other a bit slower, the rate variations would cancel each other out. Furthermore, this system produces less variation across all different positions.

    Dufour is a fervent defender of his beloved Vallée de Joux, where he was born, grew up and now working. His inspiration for the Duality came from a school watch from the Vallée de Joux watchmaking school – the same school that Dufour graduated from. This watch had a single gear train delivering power to two balance wheels through a differential.

    After having miniaturized the Grande & Petite movement to fit inside a wristwatch, Dufour tackled the task of shrinking the differential into a caliber that could be housed within a wristwatch. The final result was nothing short of extraordinary and a sight to behold as he managed to shrink the differential mechanism to the size of a matchstick head allowing the movement to feature two large balances beating in unison.
    Dufour had planning on making 25 Duality timepieces, however, due to the complexity of making, assembling and adjusting the movement and to the fact that the market did not grasp the importance and relevance of the timepiece he only made 9.

    The present example in pink gold is one of only three made in this metal. Furthermore, considering that Dufour had also made a Duality n°00 (sold at Phillips New York 26 Oct 2017 for $915,000), the present Duality n°8 is the last one he made.

    Fresh to the market and part of the same collection as the other three Philippe Dufour timepieces on offer, the present Duality offers the rare opportunity to obtain one of the rarest, most important, and most sought after timepieces created by a living legend.

  • Artist Biography

    Philippe Dufour

    Swiss • 1989

    Philippe Dufour is a modern master creating some of the most coveted timepieces available today. His watches feature clean, classic lines fitted with high-grade in-house movements and stunning finish and polish. His Simplicity model is near-perfect hand craftsmanship, produced entirely in a traditional manner without the use of modern industrial tools. Over a 12-year period he created approximately 200 examples often customized to the client's wishes. Today it is considered one of the finest mechanical time-only timepieces produced. Also highly sought-after is the Duality, a highly complicated masterpiece made in only 9 examples. Dufour worked for some of the top names in watch manufacturing including Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet and Gerald Genta. In 1978, he opened his own workshop creating all his own parts. He is both the man and the brand, and by keeping his production numbers limited, Dufour maintains absolute control over quality and is therefore considered one of the most important independent watchmakers today.

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An exceedingly rare and important pink gold wristwatch with double escapement, certificate and fitted presentation box. One of three made

34mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF800,000 - 1,600,000 

Sold for CHF3,660,000

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