Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Hong Kong, May 10, 2020

LOT 305

Audemars Piguet - Skeleton, self-winding, minute-repeater, chronograph, minute recorder, perpetual calendar, leap-year indication, moon phases; “Jules Audemars”, “Grande Complication Automatique”; 18K rose gold

18K pink gold, self-winding, round-shaped, large skeleton gentleman’s wristwatch, with sapphire-crystal snap-on case-back, transparent crystal dial with subsidiary seconds at 6 and eleven horological complications: • Minute-repeater on two steel gongs (activated by the slide at 9 o’clock) • 1/5 second chronograph (activated by the two round push-pieces) • Split-seconds (activated by the round push-piece located on the winding-crown) • Half-instantaneous 30-minute recorder (subsidiary dial at 3 o’clock) • Half-instantaneous perpetual calendar • Date of the month (subsidiary dial at 9 o’clock) • Day of the week (subsidiary dial at 3 o’clock; indications given in English) • Month of the year (subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock; indications given in English) • Week number of the year (subsidiary dial at 12 o’clock) • Four-year cycle of leap-years (subsidiary small dial at 6 o’clock) • Phases of the moon (aperture at 12 o’clock).

Brand Audemars Piguet, Le Brassus (Vallée de Joux)

Model “Jules Audemars”, “Grande Complication Automatique”

Reference 26 023 OR.oo.113 OR.01

Year circa 2010-2015

Movement No. 719 872

Case No. F 25 497

Material 18K pink gold

Bracelet integrated 18K pink gold Audemars Piguet bracelet with deployant clasp

Diameter 44 mm.

Caliber 2885, skeletonised movement and skeletonised 18K white gold rotor

Signature dial, case and movement

Accessories original fitted box, certificate of origin, international guarantee, extra link, USB card, hang tag

HKD 1,560,000 - 1,950,000

USD 200,000 - 250,000 / EUR 182,000 - 228,000 / CHF 200,000 - 250,000

Sold: HKD 1,750,000


Grading System
Grade:
Case: 1

As new

Movement: 1 *
Dial: 1-01

As new

HANDS Original


Notes

The original Certificate mentioned that this watch was sold on August 2, 2016.
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Audemars Piguet, “Grande Complication Automatique”, Calibre 2880 and Calibre 2885
Presented in 1996, the Calibre 2885, “Grande Complication Automatique”, is fitted with multiple horological functions: eleven of them! One of which, the week number of the year, is rarely seen.

This watchmaking masterpiece is a continuation of the Calibre 2880, launched in 1992, and listed as “Triple Complication”. The main difference between the two movements is the addition of the split-seconds mechanism on the most recent one.

Calibres 2880 and 2885 achieved the great task of integrating a triple complication mechanism (i.e. repeater, chronograph and calendar) into the small space of a wristwatch case. At Audemars Piguet, this technology had previously been restricted to pocket watches. Before this tour-de-force, watchmakers had never imagined combining in such a small space, and even less so adding in a self-winding system.

Only 31 examples of the Calibre 2880, “Triple Complication”, self-winding wristwatch, with more than 600 components (13 ½ ’’’, Ø 30.5 mm. / thickness 8.5 mm.), were made between 1992 and 2001.

The Calibre 2880 was first case with the Reference 25 725 (20 pieces), then Ref. 25 732 (4 pieces), Ref. 25 733 (4 pieces), 25 753 (1 piece), 25 804 (1 piece) and 25 821 (1 piece).

Only 58 examples of the Calibre 2885, “Grande Complication”, self-winding wristwatch, with 648 components (13 ½ ’’’, Ø 31 mm. / thickness 8.55 mm.), were made between 1996 and 2002.

The Calibre 2885 was first case with the Reference 12 524 (1 piece), 25 806 (26 pieces), 25 851 (1 pce), 25 856 (1 piece), 25 865 (14 piece, “Royal Oak”), 25 866 (10 pieces), 25 953 (2 pieces), 25 985 (1 piece), 25 990 (1 piece) and 25 996 (1 piece).

The production since 2002 is not documented by the manufacturer for the moment.

“Assembly, adjusting and casing up a calibre 2880 or 2885 require between four and six months of the utmost concentration combined with immensely rare skill of experience. Furthermore, the watchmaker who assembled this piece will be responsible for its maintenance and repair right throughout his or her career in the Grande Complication workshop. In the same spirit as the Grande Complication pocket watches of the late 19th century, every component, even those entirely hidden, are hand-finished with the utmost expertise, care and dedication to the preservation of the traditional arts.”

The pieces, like the present watch, which are fully skeletonized are even rarer because they require extra months of work to cut and engrave the components.

Bibliography

Brunner, Gisbert L., Pfeiffer-Belli, Christian, & Wehrli, Martin K, Audemars Piguet. Masterpieces of classical watchmaking, Le Brassus (Vallée de Joux), Editions Audemars Piguet, 1993, pp. 278-279, ill. 466 a-d and technical drawings.

Chaille, François, Audemars Piguet, Le maître de l’horlogerie depuis 1875 – Master Watchmaker since 1875, Paris, Edition Flammarion, 2011, pp. 176-177.

Vivas, Sebastian, & Friedman, Michael L., Audemars Piguet 20th century, Complicated Wristwatches, Le Brassus (Vallée de Joux), Editions Audemars Piguet, 2018, chapter V, “Rebirth beyond the quartz crisis”, part 5, “Multiple Complications, since 1992”, p. 227, pp. 264-269 and pp. 295, 297, 299-300, 303-304.