Geneva, May 15, 2023

LOT 454


CHF 40,000 - 80,000

EUR 40,700 - 82,000 / USD 45,100 - 91,000 / HKD 354,000 - 710,000

Sold: CHF 56,250

Very fine and extremely rare, thin and elegant, keyless, minute repeating, astronomic, 18K white gold Art Deco dress watch with perpetual calendar, moon phases and lunar calendar.

Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: 3-6*


Slightly oxidized

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original

Brand Audemars Piguet, Switzerland

Year Sold in 1926

Movement No. 31586

Case No. 31586

Material 18K white gold

Diameter 46 mm.

Caliber 18''' SMQV #5, rhodium plated, "fausses côtes" decoration, 29 jewels, straight line lever escapement, cut bimetallic balance, eight adjustments, Breguet balance spring.

Signature Dial, case and movement

Accessories Audemars Piguet ''certificat d'authenticité'' from 15.03.2023


Audemars Piguet

Founded in 1875 by two watchmakers, Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet, aged 24 and 22 respectively, under the name "Audemars Piguet, Manufacture d?Horlogerie". Jules Audemars was born in Le Brassus in 1851, where he was trained under master watchmakers of the area. After his apprenticeship, Jules Audemars began work as a "repasseur" until 1874, then settling in Gimel and opening a small business. He did not obtain the success he had hoped, probably due to the recession which was then beginning, and eighteen months later he decided to return to Le Brassus, looking for a new situation more in keeping with his exceptional watchmaking skill. Edward Auguste Piguet, born two years after Jules Audemars, received a similar education. Edward completed his formation as a "repasseur" under Charles Capt. The two met in 1875 in Le Brassus. For a time, the two watchmakers worked closely together without legally recognizing their partnership. Then, the Audemars Piguet company was officially founded, in 1889. Nevertheless, a brand was registered at the "Office technique de l?Edition et de la Publicité" in Bern, on December, 6, 1882, for movements and watch cases. In the records, Audemars Piguet & Cie is presented as a manufacture active all year long, employing 10 male employees. In 1880, they opened a branch in Geneva, where commercial possibilities were the greatest. Because of to his exceptional technical abilities, Jules Audemars was the technical manager of the manufacture. He patented several inventions in Switzerland and in the USA, and traveled extensively, particularly to America, where he was fascinated by the potential for trade. Edward Piguet was the financial specialist of the firm. The two men managed the company together until 1918, when Jules Audemars died at the age of 67. Edward Piguet died the following year. Certain of their models became symbolic of the skill and technique of Audemars Piguet. One of them, a minute-repeating, perpetual calendar, split-seconds chronograph pocket watch, was presented at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889. They also opened stores in Paris, London, Berlin and New York. They made watches of different styles: French, English, German and American, which was a most efficient strategy. They took part in several important exhibitions and fairs. Around 1915, the company started to manufacture wristwatches, which were very fashionable, though still continuing the production of traditional and complicated pocket watches. They made many repeating watches. In 1920, after the death of the two founders, Audemars Piguet created the smallest minute repeating watch, and, in 1911, the 10??? movement. Audemars Piguet products were sold in Le Brassus, Geneva, London, Paris, Berlin and New York. The manufacture worked in collaboration with important importers and retailers all over the world. Their clients included, among others: Dent and Frodsham in London, Tiffany in New York, Cartier and Breguet in Paris, Bulgari in Rome, and Dürrstein in Glashütte and Dresden. After the New York Stock Exchange crash in 1929, Audemars Piguet, like other manufactures, lost a large part of their American clientele. 1932 was the worst year in the firm?s history. The manufacture remained the property of the Audemars Piguet families and their descendants. In 1933, the economic situation of the firm was already much improved, and at the beginning of WWII, the major part of the Audemars Piguet production was sold to USA. Later, seeing the strong interest from clients for skeleton wristwatches and pocket watches, Audemars Piguet included these among their standard production. They remain so today, as do their famous complicated pocket watches invented over 100 years ago.