Exceptional horologic works of art

Hotel Noga Hilton, Geneva, Oct 11, 2003

LOT 132

Vacheron & Constantin, Genève, No. 360375, case No. 225246, circa 1914. Very fine and important 18K gold keyless watch presented to Agenor Parmelin by the Republic and Canton of Geneva to mark his flight over Mont-Blanc on February 11th 1914, accompanied by fitted box with dedication inscription and certificate.

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EUR 0 - 0

Sold: CHF 74,750

C. Four-body, "Empire", polished, engine turned band, polished back engraved with the seal of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, hinged gold cuvette with dedication inscription. D. White enamel, Arabic numerals, outer minute track, subsidiary sunk seconds. Gold Breguet hands. M. 43 mm. (19'''), frosted gilt, 16 jewels, straight line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance with Breguet balance spring.Dial, case and movement signed.Diam. 48 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3 - 01


The photograph of Agénor Parmelin and of his flight over the Mont Blanc are reproduced from the “Tribune” of February 11 and 12, 1914. Agénor Parmelin. On February 11, 1914, Genevan-born Agénor Parmelin became the first aviator to fly over the Mont Blanc. Parmelin was an instructor at the Centre d'Aviation of Reims, but wanted to make his record-breaking flight starting from his native city. He took off at 1:45 in the afternoon in his Deperdussin monoplane and landed three hours later in the Aosta plain, after what was called a "marvelous flight". The only difficulty Parmelin encountered was the cold: 22 degrees below zero at the altitude of 5000 meters!A reporter who witnessed the flight reported in the Feb. 11, 1914 "Tribune" the departure of Agénor Parmelin, a thick scarf wrapped around his head."It was a solemn moment; Parmelin puts on his breathing mask, shakes hands, signs autographs and asks the crowd to stand back. Ten people maintain the airplane's tail as the faithful mechanic Mahue spins the propeller. There is a loud humming, hats fly into the air, a hand is raised, and the Deperdussin … takes off… It rises to 400 meters, then turns toward the Mont Blanc and is quickly lost in the mist…"