Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces...

Hong Kong, Jun 13, 2023

LOT 211


HKD 95,000 - 130,000

EUR 11,200 - 15,400 / CHF 10,900 - 15,000 / USD 12,200 - 16,700

18K pink gold and enamel, hunting-case, keyless-winding, round-shaped, Imperial presentation pocket watch made for the Russian market, with subsidiary seconds at 6 and minute-repeater on two steel gongs (activated by the slide at 6 o’clock).
Cover and case-back guilloché (engine-turned); the cover engraved and black champlevé enamelled with the coat-of-arms of the Russian Empire. Inside cover engraved in taille-douce (fine-cut) with the mention in Cyrillic letters “Graciously offered to the artist of the French Company of the Imperial Theatres of St. Petersburg, L. Guitri / 1890”. “Gracieusement offert à l’artiste de la Compagnie française des théâtres impériaux de Saint-Pétersbourg, L. Guitri / 1890”. Movement 19’’’, rhodium-plated, with going barrel, gold screwed-chaton (setting) on the central wheel, straight-line equilibrated lever escapement, cut compensated balance and blued steel hairspring with terminal curve.

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3-8


Slightly scratched

Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original

Brand Paul Buhre

Model “Supplier to Her Majesty’s Court”

Year circa 1890

Movement No. 2026

Case No. 2026

Material 18K pink gold and enamel

Diameter 53.8 mm.

Caliber 19’’’, lever escapement

Signature Case and movement


It is extremely rare to find this type of watch in 18K gold because most of the gold watches made for the Russian market or made in Russia were made in 14K gold. Only the most important watches had this titling, which is often found on watches with horological complications. This watch is all the more interesting because it was offered by the Imperial crown to Lucien Guitry (1860-1925), the greatest theatre actor of his time.

Pavel Buhre (Paul Buhré): The firm was established by Carl Buhre in 1815 in St. Petersburg. His son Paul entered the business and by 1874 the company had acquired a large watch manufactory in Le Locle, Switzerland. In 1899, the company was given the Imperial warrant to supply the Czar and his family with watches for themselves and for presentation. Between 1887 and 1917 the office of the Emperor bought around 15 000 watches and the name of Pavel Buhre became synonymous with the watches of Czarist Russia, even Anton Chekhov mentions Buhre’s name several times in his literature. The Buhre company dominated the supply of watches to Russia and at one time held over 50% of the market in ordinary watches. The complicated watches for rich customers were specially ordered in Switzerland. The company won medals at National and International exhibitions including a silver medal in Paris 1889 and gold medal in Paris 1900. Czar Nicholas II wore a gold watch by Pavel Buhre and this, along with a silver marine watch, were found amongst his possessions after his execution in 1917. The revolution effectively ended the business of Pavel Buhre although the seized watches and parts continued to be used by the Soviets including Stalin and Khrushchev.