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    Sale 1353

    Important Pocketwatches and Wristwatches

    12 May 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 328

    Philippe Dufour. An exceptionally fine, rare and unique 18K white gold two-train minute repeating grande and petite sonnerie wristwatch with hinged case and enamel dial

    SIGNED PHILIPPE DUFOUR, NO. 2, GRANDE SONNERIE MODEL, MANUFACTURED IN 1995

    Price Realised  

    Philippe Dufour. An exceptionally fine, rare and unique 18K white gold two-train minute repeating grande and petite sonnerie wristwatch with hinged case and enamel dial
    Signed Philippe Dufour, No. 2, Grande Sonnerie model, manufactured in 1995
    Dufour cal. 12 three quarter plate nickel-finished two-train lever movement wound by turning the crown to either side, 35 jewels, minute repeating and grande and petite sonnerie striking on two polished steel hammers, glazed dust cover, the white enamel dial with Roman numerals, blued steel moon-style hands, subsidiary seconds, in large circular case with hinged back, downturned lugs, two slides for "hours/quarters" and "silence/strike" in the band, repeating activated by depressing a button in the crown, 18K white gold buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    41 mm. diam.


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    Accompanied by Philippe Dufour Certificate, letter confirming production of the present watch in 1995, technical information sheets and instruction manual.

    Philippe Dufour was born in the traditional home of watchmaking in Le Sentier, Vallée de Joux, Switzerland and started his career in watchmaking after having obtained his Certificat d'Horloger Rhabilleur, fully qualified watchmaker specializing in repair. After several years abroad, he set up his own workshop in Le Sentier in 1978, specializing in the repair of antique and vintage watches before launching his own line of highly complex wristwatches.

    Venerated by a diehard circle of collectors, Philippe Dufour's timepieces clearly belong to the category of exceptional watches - most notably his Grande and Petite Sonnerie Minute Repeating wristwatch, a world premiere for a wristwatch incorporating such an extremely complex mechanism, presented at the 1992 Basle Fair.

    Philippe Dufour started the project in 1989 and completed the first example after three years of work in 1992, the same year he joined the AHCI, "Académie des horlogers et créateurs indépendants" (Horological Academy of Independent Creators). Despite the extremely complex movement, he wanted the watch to be simple to use. Consequently the crown is wound one way for the movement and the other way for the striking mechanism. The repeating is activated by depressing a button in the crown, the desired sonnerie mode is chosen by positioning the two small sliding levers in the band.

    Working alone, Philippe Dufour made only four examples of this model: the present watch in white gold, one in yellow gold, one in pink gold and one in platinum case, hence rendering each a unique piece.

    The present watch is the first example of the "Grande Sonnerie" model to appear at auction to date.

    Pre-Lot Text

    The World's First Minute Repeating Grande and Petite Sonnerie Wristwatch