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Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

New York, Oct 08, 2016

LOT 18

GIRARD-PERREGAUX LA ESMERALDA THREE GOLDEN BRIDGE TOURBILLON WITH PIVOTED DETENT ESCAPEMENT YELLOW GOLD Girard-Perregaux, Chaux-de-Fonds, retailed by Hauser Zivy & Cie., Mexico-Paris, "La Esmeralda," "Chronometer 1st Class Tourbillon," No. 189119. Made circa 1895. Extremely fine and very rare, large, 18K yellow gold hunting-cased keyless pocket Chronometer with Perregaux caliber one-minute tourbillon carriage, pivoted detent Chronometer escapement, three golden bridge movement. Accompanied by the original fitted box.

Four body, solid, polished, stepped back and front covers. Hinged gold cuvette. White enamel with radial Roman numerals, outer minute track, sunk subsidiary seconds dial. Blued steel spade hands. First quality, 20''', with three parallel golden bridges, 16 jewels, gold wheel train, Perregaux caliber one-minute tourbillon regulator with pivoted detent escapement, bimetallic compensation balance with gold temperature adjustment screws, blued steel Breguet balance spring, index regulator. Movement signed, case numbered.

USD 50,000 - 70,000

HKD 390,000 - 545,000 / CHF 49,000 - 68,000

Sold: USD 99,750

Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original


DIAM. 57 mm. Granted a US patent for its movement design in 1884, the GIRARD-PERREGAUX three golden bridge tourbillon is the most iconic and inarguably the most visually appealing tourbillon movement ever designed. From the few original examples that have appeared publicly, all featuring minor variations, it can be assumed the movements were built by hand to order and each one could be considered as a unique creation. Of the pocket watches using the Girard-Perregaux three golden bridge tourbillon movement, the most legendary example is perhaps No. 168230, known as the LA ESMERALDA. Sold by the important jewelry and watch retailer La Esmeralda operated by HAUSER ZIVY & CIE in Mexico City, the piece is known to have been owned by the President of Mexico, PORFIRIO DIAZ (1830 -1915) and later by his descendants. The movement, housed within a highly ornate gold case finished by a renowned engraver FRITZ KUNDERT, was awarded a bulletin at the Neuchatel Observatory in 1889, and subsequently winning a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exposition later that same year. The watch now rests within the Girard-Perregaux museum. The present lot with NO. 189119 represents one of very few examples to use the same Perregaux calibre movement with the earlier pivoted detent escapement design identical to the "La Esmeralda". In research, this is the only other example with the same movement/balance combination sold by the same retailer to appear at auction in recent years.