For Sale: Vintage Audemars Piguet Chronograph Made for Cartier

The Christie’s Geneva auction of Important Watches of November 12 is fast approaching.  Of course you’ve already seen what is likely to be the top lot of the sale — an ultra-rare platinum perpetual calendar chronograph by Patek Philippe, reference 2499/100, from the collection of Eric Clapton (estimate: SFr.2,500,000-4,000,000) — but with 310 lots there are plenty of other watches for collectors of every style.

For example, there’s  this splendid looking Audemars Piguet chronograph, actually a piece made for Cartier in 1946.  When it comes to auction next month, it will have been in the same private collection for almost 20 years.  Let’s take a closer look at this watch and its interesting provenance.

Audemars Piguet Chronograph for Cartier

35mm gold case

Chrisite’s pre-auction estimate:  $53,000 – $87,000

According to the Archives of Audemars Piguet, this watch was manufactured in 1946 and it was sold to the company Travers, a distributor based in Paris and New York, who worked closely with Cartier and other brands.   Of course as the dial notes this piece was retailed by Cartier and indeed, the most important feature for the demanding collector would likely be the desirous Cartier signature on the dial.

Interestingly, this watch is one of just 18 chronographs that Audemars Piguet made that year, themselves a small portion of the 853 total watches made by Audemars Piguet in 1946.  Christies indicates that Audemars Piguet vintage chronographs are amongst the rarest specimen of complicated wristwatches, made in much smaller quantities compared to other highly distinguished Geneva manufacturers such as Patek and others.

The watch offered here for sale is characterized by its very appealing overall condition, its sophisticated look and its freshness to the market (as noted above it was in the same private collection for almost 20 years).   The crisp 35mm 18K gold case has elongated lugs and a chamfered bezel, all of which frame an attractive  beige-colored dial with blue tachymeter scale; there are applied baton numerals, three subsidiary dials (for constant seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours register).  This chronograph has a calibre 13”’VZAH movement, based on a Valjoux ébauche.

Lot 127 — one to watch on November 12th!


  • Meehna Goldsmith

    This watch is amazing and a good call on your part :)

  • goju1

    Fascinating piece of history here.
    Of particular interest is the number of watches manufactured that year.
    I would be interested to know the production numbers in recent years.