Coming Up For Sale: Four Stunning Philippe Dufours at Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: XIVBy Revolution
Merely days after the Philippe Dufour Grande et Petite Sonnerie watch number 3 sold for a record-breaking $7.63 million (£5 million)—the most expensive wristwatch made by an independent watchmaker ever to be sold publicly—Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has revealed that its upcoming sale this fall, The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV, will feature not one but four extraordinary Philippe Dufour creations. And let us tell you, just one of those masterpieces is enough to make a collector’s heart flutter!
Philippe Dufour is a man who needs no introduction. An independent master watchmaker since the late 1970s, Dufour exemplifies the fine craft of traditional Swiss watchmaking. His smouldering pipe perennially extending from his lips simply adds to his aura as the undisputed master of grand complications.
It was in the mid 80’s when Dufour first decided to make his own wrist watches—and it was his grand sonnerie from 1992 — the most complex of complications on a wristwatch, his twin escapement Duality of 1996 and the renowned Simplicity in 2000 that cinched his reputation as an eminent master of the horological world. A true living legend, his watches are treasured as the most sought-after collectibles by those lucky enough to own them—and we should be thankful to one of these very private collectors who has put up his collection of four very unique Philippe Dufour timepieces for Phillips’ Geneva sale on November 5 and 7.
Grande & Petite Sonnerie Pocket Watch Number 1 (Unique Piece)
Dufour’s reputation can be traced back to the days when he first began work on the grande sonnerie with a series of five pocket watches for Audemars Piguet in the early 1980s. The Grande & Petite Sonnerie Pocket Watch number 1 is the one and only unique piece crafted by the master that bears his name on the dial. It was finished in the late 80s and has surfaced now for the first time in the auction market. This is as rare as it can get.
Grande & Petite Sonnerie Wristwatch Number 1 in Yellow Gold
We just mentioned the Philippe Dufour Grande et Petite Sonnerie watch number 3 that has set the record for the most expensive independent watch to be sold publicly. Well, here is watch number 1 in yellow gold. With this one, Dufour created history by fitting the most complex complication designed for a pocket watch in a wristwatch. This timepiece was produced in only five examples with white enamel dials and only one of those was made in yellow gold.
Duality Pink Gold Number 8
Dufour first revealed the Duality in 1996. Inspired by a few school pocket watches from the Vallée de Joux watchmaking school of the 1930s – the same school he graduated from – these pocket watches had a single gear train delivering power to two balance wheels through a differential. He shrunk it to fit inside a wristwatch. With an initial plan to produce 25 samples, Dufour created just 9, out of which an example with movement number ‘00’ sold at Phillips New York in 2017 for close to USD1 million.
Estimate: USD 872,152-1,744,520
Simplicity (37mm) Platinum Number 57
In the year 2000 Dufour challenged himself to create a simple three hand watch with a movement architecture designed to demonstrate hand finish and decoration that modern horology had not yet witnessed. This was the birth story of Simplicity. Made in platinum, the number 57 is one of the earlier models to be produced by the master.
Estimate USD272,581 – 545,176
One auction and four jaw-dropping horological marvels to watch out for by one grand master. Are you ready for it?