CEO

Numerous world records have been set at Antiquorum, can you recall any specific piece or record that struck you as particularly astonishing?

The exceptional global interest for Gandhi's Zenith pocket watch struck me as particularly remarkable. The excitement and anticipation had started to build around the world as soon as Antiquorum announced that we would be selling the items. On the day of the sale, the auction room was packed to the guilds with collectors, watch enthusiasts and members of the press. The competition was fierce and within minutes, the bid for Gandhi's belongings went from US$20,000 to US$ 1,000,000, eventually topping at US$2,096,000. That evening media outlets throughout the world commented on the sale and the following morning, Antiquorum was featured on the front page of The New York Times. It was unquestionably a unique and thrilling moment in Antiquorum's history and one that I will never forget.

Can you tell us about any historical pieces that have been sold at Antiquorum, for example Albert Einstein's Longines wristwatch or cosmonaut Anatoly Artsebarsky's Omega Speedmaster?

Antiquorum was also exceptionally honored to sell Albert Einstein's Longines and Cosmonaut Anatoly Artsebarsky's Omega Speedmaster. Both timepieces attracted considerable worldwide attention due to their extraordinary provenance.

In 2008, our experts uncovered Albert Einstein's personal timepiece and were delighted to offer the piece in our October 16th auction of "Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces" in New York. The watch is a yellow gold tonneau-shaped Longines made in 1930 whose case back is dedicated with the words "Prof. Albert Einstein, Los Angeles, Feb. 16, 1931". It is doubly historic as it was presented to Einstein by Rabbi Edgar Magnin on behalf of the Los Angeles Jewish community, at a luncheon on February 16, 1931. The winning bid for Einstein's watch was an impressive $596,000, nearly twenty-five times its estimate. The result was a world record, both for a time-only watch and for a Longines watch at auction.

Antiqu Unique and Historically Important Longines, No. 4876616, case No. 66968. Made in 1930. Photo via Antiquorum

On November 10, 2013, we were also pleased to offer an Omega Speedmaster that formerly belonged to renowned Cosmonaut Anatoly Artsebarsky. Artsebarsky was the commander of the Soyuz TM-12, leading the first joint Russian-British space mission in 1991. He spent 5 months at the MIR Space Station undertaking various projects and repairs and he wore his Omega Speedmaster on an unprecedented six EVA's (Extra Vehicular Activities) – or space walks – totalling 33 hours. So this timepiece is not only exceptional because of its provenance, but it actually spent a record 33 hours in open space – making it a uniquely historic timepiece. After fierce competition, Artsebarsky's legendary Speedmaster exceeded expectations and sold for CHF 58,750, over twice its estimate.

Antiquorum is known for being innovative, taking the lead and setting many firsts. What's next for Antiquorum, can you tell us about any future plans?

We are extremely proud to be the first auction house dedicated solely to horology, the first to offer on-line bidding and the first to introduce thematic sales. In the future, we will continue to seek out new challenges whether its implementing new technology, traversing the globe in search of rare timepieces, or reaching out to new markets in new and creative ways. Innovation and excellence has always been an integral part of our philosophy and will continue to be in the future. We are proud to have celebrated 40 years of success in 2014 and look forward to an even brighter future ahead!

Your upcoming Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces auction has quite an extensive catalog with many extraordinary pieces. Can you tell us about any personal favorites or any pieces that have a remarkable provenance?

We are extremely excited about our upcoming November 8 & 9 auction in Geneva, our most comprehensive auction to date which truly offers something for everyone. I have quite a few favorites including the Exceptional Singing Bird Cage Clock attributed to Jaquet-Droz et Leschot Geneva, the Isaac Daniel Piguet "The Heart" Musical watch, and the Rolex Ref. 6241 Daytona.

The Exceptional Early & Small Singing Bird Cage Clock is both an horological masterpiece and a work of art. It is amazing to note that this outstanding piece was created in 1785. It is a small gilded-brass automaton singing bird clock with "jumping" painted bird with automated beak, wings, tail and automaton waterfall activated at will and by the clock every three hours. What is particularly notable about the clock in my opinion is the magical jumping effect of the bird, the delicacy of the cage's construction and the "ball and claw feet" that are distinctive of the workshop Jaquet-Droz.

Antiq EXCEPTIONAL EARLY & SMALL SINGING BIRD CAGE CLOCK WITH AUTOMATON JUMPING BIRD & AUTOMATON WATERFALL, 1785. Estimate $209,000 - $420,000. Photo via Antiquorum

Another stand out piece is the Isaac Daniel Piguet "The Heart." It's an extremely rare gold painted on enamel, pearl and turquoise-set heart-shaped quarter repeating watch with three automaton actions – see-saw, musician, and windmill, activated at will. The amazing heart shaped watches by both Isaac Daniel Piguet & Meylan made in the first quarter of the 19th century are to be counted amongst the small group of Swiss automaton and musical objects that may be considered as the most extraordinary and fantastic ever produced and were presented to Oriental Kings and Emperors by the European courts. This is truly an exquisite timepiece exhibiting extraordinary workmanship and certain to be coveted by collectors around the globe.

Ant ISAAC DANIEL PIGUET. "THE HEART" EXCEPTIONAL MUSICAL WATCH WITH SEE-SAW MUSICIAN & WINDMILL AUTOMATONS. Estimate $105,000 - $209,000. Photo via Antiquorum

Finally, Rolex sports watches have always appealed to me. In our November auction, we have an iconic Rolex. Ref. 6241 Paul Newman Daytona that is particularly attractive. Made in 1968, this a rare stainless steel watch with anti-reflective black tachometer bezel and a Rolex Ref. 7205 stainless steel Oyster riveted bracelet. It is in mint condition and a must-have for any Rolex fan!

An ROLEX REF. 6241 PAUL NEWMAN Rolex, "Cosmograph, Daytona". Estimate $86,000 - $130,000. Photo via Antiquorum

Check out the entire sale here.

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