Audemars Piguet. An extremely fine, rare and early platinum cushion-shaped minute repeating wristwatch with Breguet numerals
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
Audemars Piguet. An extremely fine, rare and early platinum cushion-shaped minute repeating wristwatch with Breguet numerals


Audemars Piguet. An extremely fine, rare and early platinum cushion-shaped minute repeating wristwatch with Breguet numerals
Signed Audemars, Piguet, Swiss, No. 38'948, manufactured in 1931
Cal. 10''' 10SMV nickel-finished lever movement, 29 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, minute repeating on two hammers, silvered matte dial, applied gold Breguet numerals, applied outer gold beady minute divisions in sizes, gold "Cathedral" hands, subsidiary seconds, cushion-shaped case, snap on back, repeating slide in the band, 18K white gold Audemars Piguet buckle, case, dial and movement signed
27.5 mm. wide & 36 mm. overall length
Special notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

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Lot Essay

With Audemars Piguet period presentation box.

According to the Archives of Audemars Piguet, the present minute repeating wristwatch was made in 1931 and sold in 1941.

Audemars Piguet have always been foremost in the manufacture of this coveted horological complication. As early as 1892, the firm had made the first minute repeating wristwatch, sold at Louis Brandt Frères, which later became Omega. This timepiece is now on permanent exhibition at Omega's prestigious Museum in Bienne.

Between 1893 and 1930, Audemars Piguet produced a total of only 72 miniature minute repeating movements; all were sold between 1902 and 1957. Until 1910, the majority was cased in ladies pendant watches, among which some were later recased by Audemars Piguet into wristwatches. The second generation made after World War I was mostly used for wristwatches, with varying case shapes, materials, dial layouts, with or without subsidiary seconds, further enhancing their individual rarity. The movement sizes ranged from 8 lines (18 mm.) to 12 lines (27 mm.). 40 examples from this series featured a 10 line (22.2 mm.) movement, including the present watch no. 38'948, which is however the only one made in 1928. Only two other watches were made later, nos. 40'977 and 41'670, however with different case shapes.

Audemars Piguet's Heritage Collection owns four examples of cushion-shaped minute repeating wristwatches of the period: no 10'474 (produced in 1906); no 11'649 (dial personalized in 1927 for John Schaeffer), no. 16'978 (sold in 1927), and no. 30'854 (sold in 1925).

Fresh to the market the present watch is an exceptionally fine representative of this rare category, impressing by its superb overall condition. Since its creation over 80 years ago, it has evidently always been treated with care and respect. Its 10''' minute repeating movement of highest craftsmanship, particularly challenging to produce due to its comparatively small size, generates an impressively clear and melodious sound. The full body and sharp lines of the case, sophisticatedly incorporating the repeating slide, and the crispness of the hallmarks and the engraved serial number underline that it has never been subject to careless polishing. The combination of the beautifully aged silvered dial, applied gold Breguet numerals and outer gold beady minute divisions and the gold "Cathedral" hands further enhance the particularly elegant and stylish appearance of this fine timepiece.

Of exceptional rarity and quality, the present minute repeating wristwatch exemplifies finest 20th century watchmaking, synonym of Audemars Piguet since 1875.

The black and white archival image of this watch is illustrated in Audemars Piguet by Gisbert Brunner, Christian Pfeiffer-Belli, Martin K. Wehrli, p. 261, pl. 381. Other examples of Audemars Piguet's pre-World War II minute repeating wristwatches are illustrated in op. cit., pp. 254 - 261, in Audemars Piguet - Le Maître de l'Horlogerie depuis 1875, Flammarion, 2011, p. 253, and in The Marcus Audemars Piguet Collection, pp. 46 & 47.

We are indebted to Mr. Sébastian Vivas, Heritage & Museum Director, Audemars Piguet, for his valuable help in researching this timepiece.

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