Only Online Auction

Geneva, Apr 07, 2021

LOT 221

Quartz desk-clock; “The Museum Piece Timepiece”; gilded brass and anodised “éloxé” metal

CHF 500 - 1,000

EUR 500 - 950 / USD 550 - 1,100 / HKD 4,200 - 8,400


Sold: CHF 87

Gilded brass and anodised “éloxé” metal, quartz, round-shaped desk-clock.

Click to full view

Grading System
Grade: A


Case: 3-9



Movement: 3**


Repair required, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-9-01



HANDS Original

Brand Movado, La Chaux-de-Fonds

Model “The Museum Piece Timepiece”

Reference 2655

Year circa 1990

Case No. 91 99 901

Material gilded brass and anodised “éloxé” metal

Diameter 100.1 mm.

Caliber quartz standardisation

Signature dial


Movado, “The Museum Piece Timepiece”

Nathan George Horwitt (1898-1990), American designer of Russian origin living in New York, a creator claiming to belong to the Bauhaus school (a movement founded in the 1920s in Germany by Walter Gropius, 1883-1969), invented the design of the dial of this timepiece in 1947 (US design patent No 183 488).

For more than ten years, Horwitt was unable to find a buyer for his watch, which was considered too conceptual, until the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) decided, in 1959, to acquire an example for its permanent exhibition. The watch acquired by the MoMA was one of three prototypes manufactured at the time by Vacheron & Constantin – LeCoultre Watches, Inc., Switzerland, and was made of white gold with a black enamel dial

At the same time, the Zenith-Movado company began marketing an “unofficial” version of this watch, under the name “Museum Watch”, in reference to the model on display at MoMA. This was followed by lengthy legal proceedings and negotiations that led to the payment of US$ 29 000.- to Horwitt in 1975 (a relatively modest sum).

In the 1960s, the same minimalist dial was also used in wall clocks and table clocks which were distributed by the Howard Miller Clock Company, Zeeland, MI (USA).

The Movado “Museum” was very popular in the 1980s, marketed with a quartz movement, probably because of its appearance that had become futuristic, while the 1960-1970 version, with mechanical movements, remains a much rarer collector’s item.


The purchase price payable by a buyer will be the sum of the final bid price plus the buyer’s premium, together with any applicable sales or compensating use tax. In addition to the hammer price, the buyer’s premium is payable as follows: 25% of the hammer price on each lot.

Important notice – Special conditions Please look carefully at all the photos as they are an integral part of the description. Any defect not mentioned in the descriptions but visible on the photos will be considered as described and cannot lead to any claim. The dimensions are given as an indication and may slightly differ from the measures mentioned by the manufacturers especially for contemporary watches. The photos are not retouched. Colors may differ from reality. For timepieces, we guarantee neither the functioning nor the precision of the movement, nor the water-resistance of the case. In addition, please note that movements, parts of mechanisms or cases may be incomplete. The lots are sold “as is”, described to the best of our knowledge and cannot be returned. Once the online bid is placed by the bidder, it cannot be cancelled.