Sp loading
LOADING IMAGES
Click to full view

Image

The Quarter Millennium of Vacheron Co...

Geneva, April 03, 2005

LOT 102

“Alexander I Karagjordgevic, King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.” Vacheron & Constantin, Genève, No. 412770, case No. 256398. Made in 1931. Fine and rare, thin, 18K white and yellow gold jump hour, wandering minute keyless Art Deco presentation dress watch with enamel coat of arms for Alexander I Karagjordgevic, King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

C. Three-body, solid, polished, bezels and bow in white gold, band and case back in yellow gold, back withpolychrome painted on enamel coat of arms. D. Matte silver, apertures for the jump hours with minutes below.Triangular pointer for the minutes. M. Cal. R.A. 17’’’15/12., rhodium-plated, "fausses-côtes" decoration,18 jewels, straight line lever escapement, cut bimetallic balance with eight adjustments, Breguet balance-spring,index regulator.Dial, case and movement signed.Diam. 43 mm.

C. Three-body, solid, polished, bezels and bow in white gold, band and case back in yellow gold, back withpolychrome painted on enamel coat of arms.
D. Matte silver, apertures for the jump hours with minutes below.Triangular pointer for the minutes.
M. Cal. R.A. 17’’’15/12., rhodium-plated, "fausses-côtes" decoration,18 jewels, straight line lever escapement, cut bimetallic balance with eight adjustments, Breguet balance-spring,index regulator.Dial, case and movement signed.Diam. 43 mm.

CHF 18,000 - 25,000

EUR 12,000 - 16,000 / USD 15,000 - 21,000

Sold: CHF 18,400


Grading System
Grade: Logo grading

Exceptional

Case: 3

Good

Movement: 3*

Good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3 - 01

Notes

The present watch was sold by Antiquorum in the “Art of Vacheron Constantin” sale on November 13, 1994, lot 110. It is illustrated on pages 384 and 389 of “The Art of Vacheron Constantin”. The Royal Family of Yugoslavia and Serbia In 1804, a wealthy Serbian clan chief and merchant, Djordje Petrovic - known as Karagjordge (Black George, after his dark looks) - led the Serbs in an uprising against the Ottoman Empire that controlled the Balkans. The revolution was successful for a time. Karagjordge established a government in Belgrade and in 1811 was confirmed as lawful ruler and the right of succession was vested in the family. In 1813 the Turks returned to Belgrade and Karagjordge fled to Austria. His son, Prince Alexander, returned to rule Serbia in 1842 but was deposed in 1858. In 1903 Parliament requested that Prince Peter Karagjordgevic - the grandson of Black George - come to the throne. King Peter I brought democracy and leadership to Serbia. While the Balkan Wars in 1912 and 1913 resulted in the expansion of Serbia, the annexation by Austria of Bosnia-Herzegovina enraged both neighboring Serbia and the people of Croatia. Nationalist aspirations for independence from Austria finally led to the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 and within days the First World War began. Before the end of the War in 1918, representatives of the three peoples proclaimed a new "Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes" under King Peter I. He died three years later. King Alexander I, who had acted as Regent for his ailing father since 1914, had earned fame as a soldier in the Balkan Wars and the First World War. In 1922 he married Princess Maria of Romania. They had three sons: Crown Prince Peter, Prince Tomislav and Prince Andrej. The new kingdom faced many threats. Neighboring states coveted many countries territories and internal rivalries between the Serbs and Croats increased tensions still further. By 1929 it was clear the King had no option but to impose a Royal dictatorship. He did so reluctantly, promising to restore democracy to the newly renamed Kingdom of Yugoslavia once unity had been achieved and bureaucratic corruption expunged. However, in 1934 he was assassinated in Marseille by a Macedonian terrorist working with Croatian extremists with Hungarian and Italian support. The French Foreign Minister, Louis Barthou, also died in the attack. King Alexander's eldest son, Crown Prince Peter, only 11 years old at the time of his father’s death, became King. Three Regents were appointed, with Prince Paul - married to Princess Olga of the Hellenes (Greece) - becoming the Prince Regent. By 1941, all of Yugoslavia’s neighbors but one were under Nazi domination or influence. Despite Prince Paul's pro-British sentiments, to avoid bloodshed he felt obliged to sign a pact with Germany and Italy. Shortly afterwards on March 27, 1941, Prince Paul was unseated in a coup and the young King Peter II was declared of age. Within a week Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary and Italy invaded Yugoslavia and the government was forced to surrender. King Peter II, with the Yugoslav Government, made his way via Athens, Jerusalem and Cairo, to London where he joined numerous other governments in exile from Nazi-occupied Europe. Yugoslavia was divided to satisfy Italian, Bulgarian, Hungarian and German demands and a puppet Croat state proclaimed. Despite the collapse of the Yugoslavian army, two rival resistance groups to the occupying forces eventually formed. The first was the Royalist Chetniks, led by the loyalist General Draza Mihailovic, Minister for Defense in the exile government. The other was the revolutionary Partisans led by the communist Josip Broz - known to the world later as Tito. A bitter civil war followed. The Allies initially supported Mihailovic, but then rallied behind Tito. The Partisans entered Belgrade in 1944 in the wake of Soviet tank brigades and established a Communist Government. In November 1945 the monarchy was illegally abolished without a referendum and Yugoslavia remained a totalitarian single party state under the League of Communists for more than four decades. King Peter II never abdicated. On 17 July, 2001 Crown Prince Alexander II, his wife Crown Princess Katherine and his three sons Prince Peter, Prince Philip and Prince Alexander came back home to the Royal Palace in Belgrade after nearly 60 years of exile. King Alexander I of Yugoslavia (1888 - 1934) of the Royal House of Karagjordgevic, was the first king of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929-1934) and before that king of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1921-1929). Alexander was born in Cetinje in Montenegro in December 1888, the second son of Prince Pietro Karagjorgevic, who was later to become King Peter I of Serbia, and of Zorka of Montenegro. He became heir to the throne in 1909, when his older brother renounced his right to succession. On 8 June 1922 he married Princess Mary of Romania, the daughter of King Ferdinand of Romania. Because three members of his family had died on a Tuesday, Alexander refused to undertake any public functions on that day. However, on Tuesday 9 October 1934 he had no choice, as he was arriving in Marseille for a state visit to the Third French Republic. When being driven through the streets along with French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou, a gunman in the crowd shot the King, the Minister and the chauffeur. It was one of the first assassinations captured on film. After Alexander’s assassination, as his son Peter II was still a minor, Peter's uncle Pavle Karagjordgevic took the regency of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia until Peter reached adulthood. Peter was to become the last King of Yugoslavia, fleeing to London in 1941 when the Nazis attacked and occupied his country.