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Piguet snuff box with timepiece may tick to $40K

Among the unique timepieces slated to cross the auction block Oct. 27 through Heritage Auctions is an enamel snuff box with a hidden clock and automation.

NEW YORK – When Heritage Auctions’ Oct. 27 offering of Watches and Fine Timepieces opens in New York, bidders worldwide will see something most other auction houses never offer: a hand-curated selection of exotic, fresh-to-market timepieces from Patek Philippe to Piguet at opening bids unheard of in the collecting hobby.

10 Unusual and Sought-After Timepieces Available

Universal Geneve Tri-Compax

Universal Geneve Tri-Compax watch, circa 1960s, fresh-to-the-market, carrying a presale estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.

1. Universal Geneve Steel Tri-Compax, ref. 881101/03, circa 1960s. This highly sought-after vintage timepiece is fresh to the collectors market. It features a preserved “exotic” slate dial, classic case with fine black tachymetre bezel, caliber 281 movement, and the original bracelet. ($10,000-$15,000).

2. Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 18k rose gold self-winding wristwatch with first series enamel dial, circa 1950s. Recognized by some collectors as “the best watch ever made.” This watch was introduced in 1953 and with Patek Philippe’s first self-winding movement. Production of this reference, 2526, was limited to 580 pieces, and is rarely seen in rose gold ($25,000-$35,000).

3. C.H. Meylan Brassus miniature gold minute repeater, circa 1905. This miniature repeater has avoided conversion to a wristwatch but still holds onto its chime and charm. Finding watches of this size and age in their original pocketwatch case has become exceedingly rare ($4,000-$5,000).

Classic Rolex Is Restoration Opportunity

4. Rolex Ref. 6263 Gold Oyster Superlative Chronometer officially certified Cosmograph with rare Sigma dial, circa 1980. This is one of the most valuable Rolex watches in excellent condition. The offering price on this item more than compensates for its “fixer-upper” status. For the right collector who puts a little effort into restoring this incredible watch, it would be an excellent purchase ($20,000-$30,000).

5. Patek Philippe Ref. 1450 platinum diamond dial “top hat,” circa 1955. This original Patek Philippe in platinum, with the original receipt from Milan in 1955 could be the steal of the auction. ($3,000-$5,000).

6. Franck Muller superb 18k pink gold wristwatch ref. 7000 QP E, automatic, perpetual calendar, chronograph, with moon phase, equation of time, Leap Year indicator, and 24-hour indicator. These watches are instantly recognizable for their beautiful numeral design along with elegant cases and dials. ($20,000-$25,000).

7. A Hublot Rose Gold King Power split second chronograph with power indication. Black Kevlar sides, transparent gold case back and a black bezel fixed with six nuts, sapphire crystals, 52 mm, rose gold and rubber end push buttons with a rose gold crown are features of this rarity ($10,000-$15,000).

Automation and Hidden Compartments

8. Swiss Carillon minute repeating three motion automaton with gold, enamel and diamond case, circa 1900. With a central red sunburst enamel dial, golden Roman chapters and spade hands, this item features polychrome enameled automaton figures of Mercury and two cherubs on a gilt outer disc ($6,000-$8,000).

9. A three compartment gold and enamel snuff box with concealed automaton and timepiece attributed to Piguet & Capt, with an enamel scene likely by Richter, circa 1800. A stunning example

Piguet enamel snuff box with automation and timepiece

Gold and enamel snuff box with automaton and timepiece by Piguet, which may realize between $20,000 to $40,000. (All photos courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

of engineering and art. A miniature automaton is hidden in the recess on the left side. The right side fitted with a brass cylinder movement with three arm balance, enameled Arabic hour and seconds dials against a black enameled and finely engraved gold panel, the tops of the side panels with gold and enameled floral vases, central panel with polychrome scene depicting a young boy fishing accompanied by two young women ($20,000-$40,000).

10. Rolex ref. 16628 Gent’s Gold Yacht-Master, circa 1998. It sports an 18k yellow gold, three body, rotating matte and polished numerical bezel, 41 mm, sapphire crystal ($10,000-$20,000).

Heritage Auctions’ Watches and Fine Timepieces Auction is Oct. 27 at the Waldorf Astoria, 301 Park Ave., Herbert Hoover Suite, 4th Floor, in New York. For more information, visit

Phillippe rose gold wristwatch

Patek Philippe rose gold wristwatch, circa 1960s, first self-winding movement, may realize $25,000 to $35,000.

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