Important Watches, Wristwatches and C...

Geneva, Hotel Des Bergues, Apr 12, 1997

LOT 319

Mido Bugatti, No. 261493, 1930's, former property of Ernest Friedrich, close friend of Ettore Bugatti. Very fine and rare 18K yellow gold gentleman's wristwatch in shape of a Bugatti radiator-grill.

CHF 10,000 - 12,000

Sold: CHF 11,500

C. shaped, massive, polished, hinged back, wire lugs, top winder, on the bezel, medallion bearing the initials EB. D. (later) pink with painted indexes. "Moderne" blued steel hands. hands. M. (later) 7"' rhodium plated, 17 jewels, lever escapement, monometallic balance, self-compensating flat balance-spring. Case and movement signed. In very good condition. Dim. 23 x 35 mm.

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The Mido Factory, in 1927, introduced this model of watch on the market, proposing to the various Automobile Clubs to stamp their logo, the brand of their vehicles, their armories or monogramms in one or multi-colous on their Mido driver ' s watch, agains payment of a slightly higher price. The Bugatti car manufacture Look advantage of this novelty and this model very soon was called "The Bugatti watch " in the automobile spheres. Current research indicates that the original Bugatti radiator model wristwatch was produced in three small series during the 1920 ' s. 12 watches only numbered 261484-261495 were aquired by the Bugatti family. This present watch was the property of Ernst Friedrich, racing mechanics, associate and friend of Ettore. A dozen or so watches are currently known to have survived in total from all the series, with most of these having belonged to people closely associated with Bugatti. Eight of the known surviving examples belonged to the following : Ettore Bugatti; Jean Bugatti, son of Ettore; Renee Dreyfus, team racing driver; Ernst Friedrich (mentioned above); Mr le Prandieres, coach builder for Bugatti in Paris; Col. W. Sorel, British representative for Bugatti; Unknown original, sometime Rudi Caracciola and Louis Chiron, team racing driver.