Important Watches, Wristwatches and C...

Hanae Mori Building, Dec 15, 1990

LOT 317

Mido, "Bugatti", produced in circa 10 examples, and given by Ettore Bugatti, to Louis Chiron, the racing driver, circa 1930. Extremely rare, 18ct gold gentleman's wristwatch, in form of a Bugatti radiator grill.

JPY 8,000,000 - 10,000,000

CHF 80,000 - 100,000

Sold: JPY 8,806,250

C. massive, polished, dedicated hinged and dedicated back, winding-crown at 12 o'clock. D. grilled silver with Arabic numerals. M. 8 1/2? rhodiumed, 15 jewels, lever escapement, cut bimetallic balance, flat balance-spring. Dial, case and movement signed. In excellent condition. Dim. 23x35 mm.

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Current research indicates that between ten and twenty examples of the "Bugatti" watch were produced in total, and eight are definitely known to have survived. All were the property of people closely associated with the legendary motor car and engine builder Ettore Bugatti. This particular watch was given to Louis chiron, the racing driver as a souvenir of his winning the Klausen hillclimb, in Switzerland, in 1927, 28 and 30, and is engraved as such, along with his signature, on the back of the case. Chiron's feat in winning the climb three times in a row (there was no event in 1929) was known as the "hat-trick"; on two occasions he drove a Type 35, and the third time a Type 45. Louis Chiron was one of the most successfull team drivers for Bugatti, winning numerous Grand Prix and hillclimb events for the firm. The other seven examples of this watch, currently known, belonged to: 1. Ettore Bugatti. 2. Jean Bugatti: his son concerned with the automobile business. 3. Renée Dreyfus: team racing driver. 4. Ernst Friderich: racing driver, mechanic and close friend of Ettore Bugatti. 5. Mr. Le Prandieres: coach builder for Bugatti in Paris. 6. Col. W. Sorel: British representative for Bugatti. 7. Unknown: possibly Ruddy Caracciola.