The Gironde capital is now well established in the landscape of fine watchmaking auctions with the Bordeaux Quinconces study. The house is also organizing its tenth thematic sale this Sunday, June 12, with experts Alexandre Léger and Jean-Christophe Guyon. “For this new opus, one hundred pieces will be offered at auction for an estimate of around 800,000 euros [not counting the jewelry part, editor’s note]. The sale is interesting from a historical point of view and will sweep the history of classical watchmaking. The provenances are healthy and the models in good condition. Two key criteria for our collectors,” emphasizes Jean-Christophe Guyon.

“As usual, this sale will focus on various criteria that are close to our hearts and also requested by both French and international collectors. Three main parts will punctuate the day with a first theme related to the automobile, a second highlighting the complications of the great Swiss manufacturers and finally a third with watches with a very particular and singular history. Historic pieces that cannot be found on the primary market,” continues Alexandre Léger.

The first top lot of the sale is a Mido watch for Bugatti. Thanks to the research of the two experts, we learn that this reference from the Mido factory was the property of Jean Bugatti. The latter, who died prematurely at the age of 30 while testing a car designed for Le Mans, was the son of “boss”, Ettore Bugatti, whose personal watch – also a Mido – was auctioned in 2021 in Toulouse for 280,000 euros, a world record for the Swiss brand.

Jean Bugatti’s Mido – estimated between 80,000 and 120,000 euros – in yellow gold on blue leather, whose stylized crown at 12 o’clock represents a radiator cap, comes from six series of “Calandres” watches, ordered by Ettore Bugatti from Mido between 1925 and 1932. Parts reserved for his loved ones, which the car manufacturer offered to his family, his best drivers and his mechanics. Stamped with the Bugatti logo, all have the horseshoe shape of the grilles of the Molsheim brand. “This watch is from the first series of orders, the most authentic and original of the Calandres watches known to date. The dial is in its own juice, never touched or cleaned. In addition, the piece, very pure, is numbered everywhere, proof of its good provenance,” adds Jean-Christophe Guyon. There is no doubt that a great bidding battle is preparing to – perhaps – break the 2021 record. To be continued…

The second choice lot is a rare secretary box in “subscription” hazel root produced by the Breguet factory around 1991 (180,000-250,000 euros). A tribute from the brand to the first simple single-hand watches marketed by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1797 on the principle of subscription, i.e. the payment of a quarter of the price when ordering. References which met with great success at the time and attracted new customers.

The set includes a Perpetuelle-Astronomique automatic pocket watch in yellow gold produced exclusively for the set, a wristwatch with a perpetual calendar and minute repeaters – among the most noble complications in the watchmaking world –, a magnifying glass and a screwdriver in yellow gold, a wooden pointer, a double round link chain and its stylus for the pocket watch, as well as a Breguet crocodile strap. “Three hundred boxes of this type would exist. But after consultation with Emmanuel Breguet, only sixty copies were produced. For the most part, all of them would have gone to Asian collectors, until today,” concludes Alexandre Léger.

Sale of collector’s watches, Bordeaux Quinconces auction house, Sunday June 12 at 2 p.m.