Important Collector's Wristwatches, P...

New York, Dec 01, 2004

LOT 309

International Watch Co., Schaffhausen, "Grande Complication", No. 18/ 50, Ref. 3770. Produced in a limited edition of 50 examples in 1993. Very fine and extremely rare, oversized, astronomic, minute-repeating, self-winding, platinum gentleman?s wristwatch with square button chronograph, registers, secular perpetual calendar, moon phases and a platinum IWC buckle.

USD 65,000 - 85,000

EUR 120,000 - 150,000

Sold: USD 103,500

C. Three-body, solid, polished, case back with screws, pyramidal bezel, curved straight lugs, screwed-down crown, sapphire crystal. D. White with applied yellow gold indexes, subsidiary dials for the seconds, the 12-hour and 30-minute registers, the date, days of the week, and the months, apertures for the four-digit year and the phases of the moon. Yellow gold ?bâton? hands. M. Cal 79091, rhodium plated, "fausses-côtes" decoration, 68 jewels, straight line lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock-absorber, self-compensating flat balance spring, repeating on gongs by activating slide on the band. Dial, case and movement signed.Diam. 42 mm. Height 16 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: 2

Very good

Dial: 1 - 01


Schaffhausen In the 1870s, American-born Florentine Ariosto Jones, who had been appointed director of the E. Howard & Co. watchmaking factory in Boston at the early age of 27, decided to manufacture high-quality movements and watch parts for the American market using American technology and skilled labor from Switzerland, where wages were comparatively low. However, the skilled workers in the Geneva region and in the remote valleys of the Jura mountains resisted the plans of a man they considered an intruder, and it was not until Jones teamed up with Johann Heinrich Moser from Schaffhausen that his plan could be realized. Moser had built a hydrostation in Schaffhausen powered by water from the Rhine, which generated low-cost energy. In 1868, Jones settled on the banks of the Rhine, creating the International Watch Company. Schaffhausen had long been a watchmaking town, with a clockmaker's guild existing there since 1583. The town was also home to the famous Habrecht family of clockmakers, who built the impressive astronomical clock for the Strasburg cathedral. However, Jones' arrival marked a new era in time measurement, for he was not only an entrepreneur but a talented watchmaker. The first pocket watches produced in Schaffhausen with the Jones caliber had a wealth of advanced technical features. A year after its foundation, the "American" watch factory passed into Swiss hands, but its philosophy-"Probus Scafusia" (good, solid craftsmanship from Scaffhausen) -has remained unchanged. By the late 1930s IWC's reputation was so good that its watches were considered "the poor man's Patek Philippe". In recent years, IWC enlarged their horological scope by close cooperation not only with Jaeger LeCoultre, but also with A. Lange & Söhne in Glashütte.