Geneva, May 11, 2024

LOT 220


CHF 200,000 - 400,000

HKD 1,740,000 - 3,470,000 / USD 222,000 - 444,000 / EUR 204,000 - 408,000

Sold: CHF 268,750

An exceptional, unique, fresh to the market, 18k yellow gold, manual wind pocket watch with enamel by Suzanne Rohr original painting by Horace Vernet

Grading System
Case: 1-6-8

As new

Slightly oxidized

Slightly scratched

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original

Brand Patek Philippe, switzerland

Model "La Caleche"

Reference 866/71

Year 1976

Movement No. 932378

Case No. 433686

Diameter 47

Caliber 17-170, 18 jewels

Signature case, dial and movement

Accessories original fitted box, extract from the archives


Following the 2 last world records obtained by Antiquorum for Suzanne Rohr pocket watches, "Romanshorn" by JJ Wetzel (see November 5, 2023, lot 365) and "Woman with a water jug" by Vermeer (see May 7, 2022, lot 200), we are proud to offer another undiscovered masterpiece by the world renowned enameler Suzanne Rohr. Consigned by the original family who have kept this masterpiece in their safe for the past 30 years as can be seen by the mint and crisp hallmark on the bow as well as the gold case that has taken a warm patina from remaining untouched. The enamel scene representing a horse drawn carriage with 2 ladies and 3 gentleman is inspired by the original painting by Horace Vernet called "la Caleche" (painted circa 1814) and Suzanne Rohr's talent is once again in full view with a beautiful rendering of an afternoon sky combined with minute details such as foliage, the spokes of the wheels, the horses hair in the wind and the multitude of horse reins. It is also interesting to note that while Mrs Rohr often created a few pieces inspired by the same painter it is the only known pocket watch inspired by Horace Vernet.


Property of the original family


Born in Geneva in 1939, Suzanne Rohr grew up in a family immersed in the classical arts. Interested in drawing and painting from a young age, she demonstrated her passion for achieving finesse and perfection in every stroke. When she finished school, she discovered an exhibition of enamel work at the Art and History Museum in Geneva which she greatly admired. She then went on to train as an enameller and painter of enamel miniatures in the enamelling department at the School of Decorative Arts in Geneva where she studied under Elisabeth Juillerat and obtained her federal diploma in 1959. She was the only student in her class. In recognition of her achievement, the Department of Education in Geneva offered her an additional year’s training in the jewellery class. That same year, she won the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation competition prize for creating a ladies’ bracelet which included a watch in its enamelled decoration. In 1960, unable to find an in-house position, Suzanne Rohr opened her own studio. This marked the start of her freelance career which she has continued to the present day. From 1960 to 1968, Suzanne Rohr strove to find her calling. She also created enamelled jewellery, cups and artwork using cloisonné and champlevé techniques, or decorated with silver and gold leaf. It was in this same period that she met the famous Genevan miniaturist, Carlo Poluzzi (1899-1978). He would become her mentor for the next 28 years. Working closely with him, she refined her technique and dedicated herself entirely to enamel miniatures. She sold several of her miniatures in La Côte-aux-Fées, Le Locle and Neuchâtel and undertook work for watchmaking brands in Geneva. From 1967, Suzanne Rohr began her partnership with Patek Philippe where she met connoisseurs of her art. There, she could express her own point of view and, also, obtain gold of the finest quality, an essential pre-requisite for producing the perfect painting. From 1970, she could rely on regular commissions and on the constant support of the Geneva-based firm and from the Stern family who showed their loyal trust in her for nearly 40 years. Fascinated by the art of miniatures, the harmony of shapes and the beauty of colours, Suzanne Rohr’s heart’s desire was to share her passion for this art and see it continue to be appreciated in the 21st century. In 2017, Suzanne Rohr and her former protégée Anita Porchet (b.1961) were jointly awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for the high level of perfection in their work.

Emile Jean-Horace Vernet (known as Horace Vernet 1789-1863) is a famous French painter known for his portraits, battle scenes and orientalist subjects.
Born to a line of famous painters (his father and his grandfather were also painters Carle Vernet and Claude Joseph Vernet) and quickly learnt to paint contemporary scenes and due to the influence of Napoleon Bonaparte he painted many military based subjects. The Duc d'Orleans commissioned a series of battle paintings that earned him his notoriety.

He then embarked on many projects among which he decorated the entire Constantine room at the Palais de Versailles and later found a new patron in Napoleon III who embarked him on the Crimean war producing several battle paintings. At the time of his death in 1863, Vernet, a member of thirty academies, was nevertheless France's most famous artist, admired and imitated throughout Europe and deeply imbedded in popular culture.