Geneva, May 12, 2024

LOT 385


CHF 40,000 - 60,000

HKD 348,000 - 520,000 / USD 44,300 - 67,000 / EUR 40,800 - 62,000

Sold: CHF 50,000

A very fine and extremely rare 18k yellow gold, manual wind hunting-cased, keyless minute-repeating pocket watch, chronometer movement with perpetual calendar, phases and age of the moon. Watch specially ordered by Louis Ador with his name on the dial.

Grading System
Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original

Brand Vacheron Constantin, Switzerland

Year Sold to Mr. Louis Ador in 1928

Movement No. 366226

Case No. 226249

Diameter 58 mm.

Caliber  RA 20’’, 31 jewels, rhodium plated, "fausses côtes" decoration, counterpoised straight line lever escapement, cut bimetallic balance, Breguet balance spring, swan-neck micrometer regulator. Repeating on gongs via a slide in the band.

Signature Dial, case and movement


Louis Gustave Ador (1884-1943)
Based on correspondence with the manufacture, Vacheron Constantin, it is documented in their archives that the watch was sold to Mr. Louis Ador in 1928. It is highly likely that this refers to Louis Gustave Ador (1884-1943), who was the son of Gustave Barthélémy Ador, the former president of the Confédération hélvétique (1845-1928), and Alice Perdonnet (1851-1908).
Louis Gustave Ador's father was a prominent Swiss politician and diplomat, recognized for his significant contributions to both Switzerland and international affairs during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1910, Gustave Ador reached the pinnacle of his diplomatic career when he was elected as the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid and assistance during times of conflict. During his leadership tenure from 1910 to 1928, the ICRC expanded its global reach and influence, establishing itself as a leading force for compassion and relief.
Louis Gustave Ador was born in Cologny, Switzerland, on April 4th, 1884, and was the only son among five sisters in the family. He married Madeleine Antoinette Puget (1890-1978) on October 1st, 1917, at St. Peter's Cathedral, a stronghold of Calvinist Protestantism in Geneva. After their divorce in 1919, he remarried Antoinette Frossard de Saugy (1900-2000) in 1923.
Louis Gustave Ador dedicated efforts to preserve and promote his father's legacy. For instance, in a decision from the Conseil d’Etat, signed by the chancellor Eugène MULLER, it is noted that he wrote a letter on April 17th, 1933, in support of naming one of Geneva's largest docks after his father. He actively participated in various civic activities, such as being a member of the Société Nautique de Genève and offering prizes for sailing races (as reported in the journal on July 11th, 1916), or taking part in the Gymkhana of 1904. He also contributed articles to the Journal de Genève, expressing his opinions on theater and economics. For instance, in the Journal de Genève dated March 27th, 1911, he chronicled his voyage to Singapore, offering insights into rubber plantations while underscoring the ecological and economic hazards associated with overproduction.
Louis Gustave Ador passed away childless on November 18th, 1943, in Geneva, thus none of Gustave Ador's grandchildren carried his name.