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    Sale 1353

    Important Pocketwatches and Wristwatches

    12 May 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 246

    Audemars Piguet. An extremely elegant and unique 18K white gold double dial minute repeating full calendar jump hour keyless lever "digital" watch with phases of the moon

    SIGNED AUDEMARS PIGUET, NO. 26852, MANUFACTURED IN 1920

    Price Realised  

    Audemars Piguet. An extremely elegant and unique 18K white gold double dial minute repeating full calendar jump hour keyless lever "digital" watch with phases of the moon
    Signed Audemars Piguet, No. 26852, manufactured in 1920
    Cal. SMQGV 17''' nickel-finished jewelled lever movement, bimetallic compensation balance, minute repeating on two hammers, a subsidiary dial indicating phases of the moon combined with lunar calendar set onto the backplate and underneath the glazed dust cover, in circular plain case, the front with a square and a fan-shaped aperture for the Arabic hours and minutes, triple window for the day, date and month indications, repeating slide in the band, case stamped and numbered
    48 mm. diam.


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    According to the Archives of Audemars Piguet, the present watch was finished in 1920 and delivered to their retailer Bittmann in St. Moritz in 1926; the unusual display of the phases of the moon set on top of the movement's backplate was added in 1929.

    This watch represents one of the pinnacles of Audemars Piguet's craftsmanship, combining several complications such as a minute repeating mechanism with jumping hours, minutes and triple calendar and the phases of the moon with lunar calendar. An extremely fine example of a watch made during the Art Deco period, this unique piece was most certainly produced to special order.

    The first jump hour pocket watches appeared in the early 19th century but became particularly fashionable during the Art Deco period. Their simplicist layout, displaying only the actual hour and minutes through small apertures, harmonized perfectly with the purely decorative Art Deco style, seen as elegant, functional, and ultra modern.

    During the "Roaring Twenties", pocket and wristwatches fitted with this unusual display were made by the most eminent makers, notably Audemars Piguet, Cartier and Patek Philippe but the fashion declined with the Great Depression, and was definitively over by World War II.

    Literature

    Prominently described and illustrated in Audemars Piguet by Gisbert L. Brunner, Christian Pfeiffer-Belli, Martin K. Wehrli, first edition, p. 138, the archival image on p. 133, pl. 110, op. cit.