It’s summertime in Monaco, a season where daily life really heats up for the residents and visitors in this famed principality that earns its reputation a hub for luxury. It’s also a time where the Parisian auction house, Artcurial, hosts a weeklong series of auctions. Included in these sales are jewelry and watch offerings, all being held at the Hôtel Hermitage.
A sale of high jewelry and statement gems will be held over a three-day period July 18 – 20. The top item among the 760 lots being offered is a 17.5-carat D-color emerald-cut diamond with an estimate of $1 million – $1.5 million.
Another important gem being offered is a 12.39-carat fancy intense yellow diamond mounted on a ring between two triangle diamonds weighing 1.36 and 1.35 carats. Its estimate is $300,000 – $350,000.
The sale also includes period jewels and signed pieces representing more than a century of jewelry design, weighted toward an impressive group of French Art Nouveau and Art Deco jewels.
Among the most important lots are three pieces of matching emerald and diamond jewels by mid-20th century Parisian jeweler, Guillemin & Soulaine. The top lot in this group is an emerald, diamond, platinum and 18k yellow gold bracelet with an estimate of $180,000 – $250,000.
Another piece by Guillemin & Soulaine is a sapphire, diamond, platinum and 18k white gold necklace, circa 1970. Its estimate is $80,000 – $120,000.
A third important piece is a finely design Art Nouveau Pendant-Brooch attributed to Georges Fouquet, circa 1898, inspired by a famous drawing by Alphonse Mucha depicting the legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt as Mélissande in Edmond Rostand’s play La Princesse lointaine. Its estimate is $22,000 – $25,000.
Other notable period jewels include:
- An Art Nouveau enamel, pearl and diamonds choker with an estimate of $25,000 – $35,000;
- A butterfly brooch, set with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and pearls, late 19th century, with an estimate of $15,000 – $20,000;
- A diamond bracelet, circa 1930, with an estimate of $15,000 – $20,000;
- A René Boivin “Feuille Persanne” brooch, circa 1935-1937, with an estimate of $6,000 – 8,000; and
- A Boucheron diamond clip, circa 1930, with an estimate of $4,500 – $5,500.
As with most important jewelry auctions, the sale will include pieces from prestigious jewelry houses, such as Cartier, Van Cleef, Bulgari, Chaumet, Boucheron, Buccelatti and Boivin.
Men’s Fine Watches
On July 18, Artcurial will host a men’s fine watch sale. The top lot among the 100 being offered is a single-owner Richard Mille RM003 Tourbillon Dual Time Zone wristwatch in white gold, purchased in 2002, with an estimate of $450,000 – $650,000.
No watch auction is complete without important Rolex and Patek Philippe pieces and this sale has many. The top lots among these highly sought-after watch brands are a platinum Rolex Daytona automatic chronograph (ref. 116506) with a diamond-covered dial. It features an oyster platinum bracelet with deployant clasp. Its estimate is $200,00 – $300,000. The other is a Patek Philippe Nautilus (ref. 5740/IG-001) 18k white gold automatic perpetual calendar and moon phases wristwatch with date, white gold bracelet with deployant clasp. Its estimate is $200,000 – $400,000.
Other notable offerings include an Audemars Piguet (ref. 5513) yellow gold watch sold to Cartier Paris in May 1960 with an estimate of $150,000 – $250,000; and a Henri Verneuil’s Gérald Genta yellow gold watch with perpetual calendar and minute repeater, circa 1990, with an estimate of $30,000 – $50,000;
In addition, there’s an early Mido Watch in 18k yellow gold watch with manual movement. It is one of the first watches for motorists produced by the Swiss watchmaker for the Bugatti automobile brand. Produced between 1925 and 1926, its estimate is $15,000 – $20,000. The gold buckle and a dial are in the shape of a Bugatti radiator grille. It was given by Bugatti to Robert Grosse, a prominent racing driver from the 1920s. The watch has remained in the family of Robert Grosse for the past century and is offered by his direct descendants.
A Longines 18k yellow gold and enamel manual winding pocket watch with an estimate of $6,000 – $8,000. The dial in blue and green enamel is inscribed with a prayer for the Prophet Muhammad. It was invoiced in 1912 to Kramer, Longines’ only agent in Egypt and provider to the last Khedive (Ottoman viceroy) of Egypt and Sudan, Abbas II of Egypt.
The Sparkling Collection
In a rare auction moment, Artcurial will host two watch sales dedicated to women’s watches.
On July 17, is a sale titled, “The Sparkling Collection,” is single-owner auction of 77 lots. The sale is led by a group of 15 watches by Piaget, many of which are iconic colored, hard stone dial watches from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Among the highlights is a malachite and yellow gold cuff watch, circa 1970, offered with matching ring, sautoir and pendant earrings with an estimate of $80,000 – $120,000. Only eight sets in the same design were produced by the Swiss luxury brand between 1970 and 1976.
Other Piaget highlights include a coral and yellow gold cuff watch, circa 1970, one of only 15 with ornamental hard stone dials created between 1969 and 1971 with an estimate of $60,000 – $80,000; and a manchette watch in yellow gold, sapphire and lapis lazuli, circa 1968, with an estimate of $60,000 – $80,000.
Another standout piece in the collection is a Cartier diamonds and onyx Art Deco watch, circa 1925, with an estimate of $15,000 – $20,000; and a 1972 Boucheron watch in diamonds and yellow gold with an estimate of $15,000 – $20,000.
Time Is Feminine
The second women’s watch auction is titled, “Le temps est féminin” (Time is feminine), being held on July 19. It showcases a selection of vintage and modern timepieces. including Nautilus and Aquanaut models by Patek Philippe. Among the highlights:
- A Patek Philippe’s parure in diamonds, onyx and coral, circa 1970s, composed of a watch, necklace and bracelet (est. $60,000 – $100,000).
- A 1964 Omega “secret watch” in yellow gold, sapphires and emeralds (est. $15,000 – $20,000); and
- A 1958 yellow gold Duoplan watch by Jaeger Lecoultre (est. $5,000 – $7,000);
Artcurial’s “Monaco Auction Week” will be held July 15 till 22 and also includes sales of important sculptures, luxury handbags and a selection of comic strips by 20th century artist Enki Bilal.