Auction Report: Dent Pocket Watch Sets Two New Records At Sotheby’s Online Auction

One, lot no. 62, which was recorded, intriguingly enough, as lost or stolen in 1809 by the Breguet archives, went for a relatively paltry CHF 15,000 (admittedly on an estimate of CHF 7,000-10,000, but you know, still). Someone with a bit more than that to spend got something quite interesting from an historical standpoint – lot no. 89, which went for CHF 52,500, is a very beautiful perpetual calendar chronograph with foudroyante (when was the last time you saw one of those?) aperture displays for the day of the week and the month, retrograde date, and moon phase. It is a bit of a head-scratcher that the estimate was CHF 7,000-10,000, but what are you gonna do – these are strange times. The original client for the watch, Jean Dollfus, was also the original client of a one-off perpetual calendar wristwatch which may be the first perpetual calendar wristwatch ever made. Now, given the low initial estimate, I am not saying the new owner necessarily got a bargain but – well, yeah, I’m kind of saying the new owner got a bargain, even at five times the original high estimate.

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