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Audemars Piguet. An Extremely Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Central Spiraled Tachymeter Scale
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
Audemars Piguet. An Extremely Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Central Spiraled Tachymeter Scale

SIGNED AUDEMARS PIGUET & CO., MOVEMENT NO. 42'875, MANUFACTURED IN 1937

Details
Audemars Piguet. An Extremely Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Central Spiraled Tachymeter Scale
Signed Audemars Piguet & Co., Movement No. 42'875, Manufactured in 1937
Cal. 13''' mechanical jewelled lever movement, white enamel dial, luminous Arabic numerals, luminous hands, outer fifths of a second divisions, outer red telemeter scale calibrated for 15 miles per hour, inner red spiraled tachymeter scale calibrated to 350 units, two recessed subsidiary dials for 30 minutes register and constant seconds, circular case, two oval-shaped chronograph pushers in the band, dial signed, movement numbered
32.5mm diam.
Provenance
Property from the de Guigne Collection
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.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

According to the Archives of Audemars Piguet, the present watch was manufactured in 1937 and sold to Bittmann, St. Moritz.

According to the Archives of Audemars Piguet, the present watch with movement serial number 42'875 began production as the final watch in their Register for 1936, was completed in 1937 and then sold to Bittmann, a retailer in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 1937. According to the Audemars Piguet Register of Completed Watches this watch had a cadran émail blanc (white enamel dial), chiffres radium (radium numbers), pour Miles Anglais (for English miles), Spires au centre (spiral in the center) and Aiguilles radium (radium hands) with Signature Audemars Piguet. Furthermore, the Audemars Piguet Register of Completed Watches states that it was one of only the chronographs in steel in their registry for 1936 and one of only five chronographs in steel sold in 1937.

In the world of vintage watches, astute collectors realize the absolute rarity and importance of Audemars Piguet chronographs. Audemars Piguet made approximately 300 chronographs between 1930 and 1950, an absolute small fraction of the chronographs made by other important vintage watch manufacturers during that period.

The present watch is only the second Audemars Piguet chronograph in a case made solely of stainless steel to surface to the market in recent years, and the first with two pushers. The other example is a monopusher chronograph with a non-luminous white enamel dial in the collection of Audemars Piguet.

The charisma of the dial on the present watch is beyond spectacular. The bright white enamel dial appears to have no cracks or damage and is furthermore augmented by the stunning spiral or “snail ring” tachymeter scale in red in the center and extremely unusual quarter-mile outer track in red on the outer edge. It is quite possible that the watch was originally ordered for a horse race enthusiast or race car driver. The present watch is one of only a very few Audemars Piguet chronographs with spiral or “snail ring” tachymeter scale to ever emerge to the market in recent years. If that was not enough, it features large Arabic numerals of luminous radium material that together with ornate cathedral hands of radium provide a striking and completely unique look. The luminous material reads strongly on a Geiger counter, suggesting it is original radium and unaltered in any way, without loss of material on the dial or in the hands.

The case is spectacular both for its architecture and for its condition. Despite its 32.5mm diameter excluding crown, the watch wears extremely well thanks to the dimensionality of the case and the 19mm width between the lugs. The watch is distinctly Audemars Piguet in design. Furthermore, the crown and stunning olive-shaped pushers are of extreme appeal to collectors of vintage chronographs.

Considering the criteria that many vintage watch collectors seek including maker, complications, case material, condition, rarity, originality, provenance and aesthetic charisma, this Audemars Piguet chronograph is a thrillingly important discovery, and would be a worthy and significant addition to any collection.

For more information on vintage Audemars Piguet chronographs please read the article, "Stopping Time: The Vintage Audemars Piguet Chronograph" by the Audemars Piguet Heritage Department.

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