This is a very special watch. It’s special because it’s a platinum minute repeater by Audemars Piguet, sure. But it’s even more special because it’s the only post-war platinum minute repeater Audemars Piguet made with a bracelet, period. It was discovered not long ago by the folks at Christie’s, who’ve done a brilliant job documenting its complex and interesting history. Let’s dig into it.
You see, the watch as it is now is a little different than it was when it left the manufacture in 1960. When the original owner received it, the watch had both a diamond set bezel and a different bracelet. He admired them at first, but following a change of heart he decided to make some changes in order to make it more overtly masculine, and brought it back to Audemars Piguet for the adjustments. The bezel was replaced by a simple polished bezel and a special new bracelet, reference 573 made by Jean-Pierre Ecoffey, and it’s fair to say its mission was accomplished.
More than half a century after it was made, and even after receiving some modifications during its lifetime, the watch is in superb condition. It’s 36mm and wears just as you would hope. It’s naturally going to feel a little heavier than most minute repeating wristwatches. But, remember, this is the only Audemars Piguet minute repeater with both a platinum case and bracelet, and it’s one very few to have ever been made by anyone.
The exterior is immediately arresting, but the story behind the movement isn’t dull either. Because Audemars Piguet was no longer making miniature chiming movements at the time Â â remember, the manufacture made only seven repeaters between 1945 and 1992, and they are among the most sought after AP watches â the movement you see here is a LeCoultre & Cie Ã©bauche purchased from Vacheron Constantin and finished in-house.
The watch was discovered earlier this year and is being consigned by the original owner’s descendants as a part of Christie’s upcoming Rare Watches auction taking place on Monday. It’s estimate? Between $250,000 and $500,000. I told you it was a very special watch.
For more information on this watch, and for a lengthier look at the auction catalog, please visit Christie’s online.