Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces.

Geneva, Mar 21, 2020

LOT 21

VACHERON CONSTANTIN, HISTORICAL POCKET CHRONOMETER, YELLOW GOLD

Historically important and extremely rare, 18K yellow gold, open-face, keyless-winding, round-shaped, pocket watch with subsidiary seconds at 6, chronograph and 30-minute recorder. Cover engraved in taille-douce (fine cut) with the coat-of-arms of the Peter I Karadordevic, King of Serbia (1903-1918), and the motto "Spes mihi prima deus" (My Hope is God First of All). The Extract from the Archives, dated November 10, 1994, mentioned that this watch was made in 1911 and sold in 1911. The watch was completed in 1911 and sold on March 3, 1911, to H. H. Peter I Karadordevic, King of Serbia (1903-1918), then King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1918-1921). Vacheron Constantin produced few presentation watches for Peter I of Serbia: Twelve simple pocket watches in 1905 (including No. 331041; see Antiquorum, Geneva, auction, April 3, 2005, The Quarter Millenium of Vacheron Constantin, 1755-2005, lot 164 (cat. pp. 290-291). Two pieces with chronograph in 1911 (No. 338467, the present lot, and No. 338468).

Brand Vacheron Constantin, Geneva

Year circa 1911

Numbers 213768

Caliber 17''', lever escapement no. 338467

Dimensions 49,6 mm.

Signature dial, case and movement

Accessories Extract from the Archives

CHF 7,000 - 9,000

USD 7,250 - 9,400 / HKD 56,500 - 72,500


Grading System
Grade: AAA

Excellent

Case: 3

Good

Movement: 3*

Good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01

Good

HANDS Original


Notes

Peter I Karadordevic
Belgrade, Principality of Serbia, July 11, 1844 - Topchider, Belgrade, August 16, 1921 Peter reigned as the last King of Serbia (1903-1918) and as the first King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1918-1921).
Peter was the son of Alexander (Aleksandar) Karadordevic (1806-1885), Prince of Serbia (1842-1858), and Persida Nenadovic (1813-1873), Princess consort of Serbia.
He was forced into exile with his father in 1858, in Geneva and Paris. The Obrenovic reigned over Serbia from 1815 to 1842 and 1858 to 1903. They were the rival of the Karadordevic dynasty.
Peter was raised in France, he served in the French Army (Foreign Legion) during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 and then joined the Bosnian insurrection against the Ottomans in 1875.
In 1883, he married Zorka of Montenegro (1864-1890), Ljubica Petrovic-Njegoš, Princess of Montenegro, daughter of Nikola I Petrovic-Njegoš (1841-1921), Prince of Montenegro (1860-1910), then King of Montenegro (1910-1918). She gave birth to his five children.
In 1903, after the revolution, which put an end to the Obrenovic dynasty, he was appointed King of Serbia on June 11, 1903, and was approved by the National Assembly of Serbia on June 15. As king, he advocated a constitutional setup for the country and was famous for his libertarian politics. Peter proved an able and conscientious ruler and restored dignity to the court of Belgrade. He reformed the constitution, the army and the school system and fostered improved methods of agriculture. Peter was the supreme commander of the Serbian army in the Balkan wars (1912-1913). Because of his age, on June 24, 1914, he proclaimed his son, Alexander (1888-1934), heir-apparent to the throne, as regent of the Kingdom of Serbia. In the First World War he and his army retreated across the Principality of Albania.
Since Peter was the king of Serbia during a period of great Serbian military success, he was remembered by Serbian people as “King Peter the Liberator”, and also known as “Old King”.
Alexander who became King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1921-1929), then King of Yugoslavia (1929-1934).

Provenance

Antiquorum, Geneva, auction, November 13, 1994, The Art of Vacheron Constantin, lot 30, sold for the amount of CHF 9 200.