Important Watches, Pocket Watches and...
Noga Hilton Hotel, Nov 13, 2005
?George V Royal Presentation,
Vacheron & Constantin, Genève,
No. 250752 / 402831, case No. 402831. Made on special order
for the English Crown in 1925 and sold in 1926 via the
Goldsmith?s Company. Presented to Admiral Richard Byrd in
commemoration of his 1926 Arctic Expedition.
Historically important and possibly unique, extra large and
thin, gentleman?s 18K pink gold wristwatch chronometer
with co-axial single button chronograph and register.
C. Three-body, solid, polished and brushed, sloped bezel, downturned
lugs. D. Silvered, slightly amber-colored, sand-textured
with indelible dauphine numerals on two-tone dial, subsidiary
seconds and 30-minute register dials, outer minute/second track
with Arabic five-minutes/seconds and 1/5th second scale.
Blackened gold "Breguet? hands. M. Cal. 17???, by Louis Elisée
Piguet, rhodium-plated, "fausses-côtes" decoration, 24 jewels,
straight line lever escapement, second generation Guillaume
balance adjusted to 5 positions and temperature with gold timing
screws, Breguet balance-spring, Vacheron Constantin?s
micrometer regulator (Patent CH 101652, registered on 1
Dial, case and movement signed.
Diam. 45 mm. Thickness: 12 mm.
CHF 0 - 0
EUR 0 - 0 / USD 0 - 0
Sold: CHF 226,250
King George V
George Frederick Ernest Albert, better known as King George V, was the king of Britain during World War I. He was born in 1865 as second
son of King Edward VII and the grandson of Queen Victoria. From the early age of 12, he was trained for a career in the Royal Navy,
eventually rising to the rank of Commander. His older brother died and he gained heir to the throne. At the age of 26, he had already acquired
personal knowledge of outlying British lands that he had learned in the Royal Navy.
In 1893 he married Princess Victoria Mary, the daughter of the Duke of Teck; Mary. Together they had five children who held court: King
Edward VIII; Albert, Duke of York, later King George VI (upon Edward's abdication); the Duke of Gloucester; the Duke of Kent; and Mary,
Countess of Harewood.
It was he who changed the name of the royal house from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor. In 1917, during World War I, he gave up the royal
family's connections to all things German including titles. In 1911, George traveled to India for a ceremony to cement ties with that colony.
May of 1935 was celebrated as the silver jubilee of his reign. He died on January 20, 1936. He was succeeded by his son, Edward VIII.
This watch was presented by King George V to Admiral Richard Byrd, after the Admiral?s North Pole flight in May, 1926.
It subsequently became the property of Hermann Goering, as attested by the Vacheron Constantin Archives.
After the Second World War, the watch became the property of an Oriental gentleman.
Richard Evelyn Byrd
Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd,
USN (October 25, 1888 ? March
11, 1957) was an pioneering American
polar explorer and famous aviator.
He graduated from the U.S. Naval
Academy in 1912 and entered the
Aviation Service during World War I.
He developed a passion for flight, and
pioneered many techniques for navigating
airplanes over the open ocean
including drift indicators and bubble
On May 9, 1926, Byrd and pilot Floyd
Bennett set out on the first flight over
the North Pole. They claimed to have
achieved the pole, however subsequent
evidence from their diaries and
mechanical analysis of their plane,
confirmed by the Norwegian-
American aviator and explorer Bernt
Balchen, has cast significant doubt on
this; they likely turned back due to a
mechanical problem just short of the
Pole. Nonetheless, the expedition
earned Byrd widespread acclaim,
enabling him to secure funding for
subsequent attempts on the South
Pole. Byrd was awarded a Medal of
Honor for the achievement.
The Vacheron Constantin firm, which has always
responded positively to special request, made a few
watches especially for aviators. Among these is the ?aviator?s
degree watch? sold by Antiquorum in the ?Quarter
Millennium of Vacheron Constantin? sale on April 3,
2005, lot 114.
Cased in ?Staybrite? stainless steel, it was based on a
movement by Victorin Piguet and was produced in only
three examples. The present watch, made on special
request, is based on a movement by Louis Elisée Piguet.
It differs from other Vacheron Constantin ?monopoussoir?
chronographs both in size and design. Most of
the mono-poussoirs known today are tonneau-shaped
with a round opening for the dial and are much smaller
in diameter. However, whereas the aviator?s degree
watch was made in three examples, the present watch is
believed to be unique.