The auction held by Christie’s in New York June 15th 2011 confirmed Vacheron Constantin’s strong appeal to international collectors. During this sale in which bidders from around the world displayed a keen interest, the Geneva-based House distinguished itself by setting an absolute record for the pocket watch made for James Ward Packard (1863 – 1928), the famous American automobile manufacturer and devotee of Haute Horlogerie watches. He was one of first American collectors to work directly with the Geneva-based watch manufacturer in order to build up a collection of unique timepieces.
Among the items by Vacheron Constantin that were up for bidding in New York, the 20-carat gold pocket watch (lot n° 100) proved to be the undisputed star of the auction by fetching 1,800,000 USD.
A truly exceptional result for an equally exceptional watch: in addition to displaying the hours, minutes and seconds beneath a rock crystal glass, this timepiece features a personalised combination of complications including hour, minute, quarter and half-quarter repeating, grande and petite sonnerie as well as a 30-minute chronograph register.
The magnificently adorned back of this piece featuring the monogram JWP on blue enamel was executed in Geneva following a sketch made by James Ward Packard himself. This elegant watch is in impeccable condition, having been preserved in the safe of a bank where it had remained untouched for the past 60 years.