Three gems from the Bordeaux auction house

On February 11, at 3pm, the Hôtel des ventes Bordeaux Quinconces will open a special session dedicated to the sale of vintage watches. Here are our top three picks of lots that are certain to capture the attention of many shrewd collectors.

By Arthur Frydman

The Hôtel des ventes Bordeaux Quinconces (Bordeaux’s auction house in the Quinconces neighbourhood) specializes in the sale of superb timepieces. This proves that not all the activity is centred in and around Paris, at Drouot or in the major auction houses. The independent expert Jean-Christophe Guyon set out to discover the many treasures that the French provinces harbour and showcase them in special sessions tailored for vintage watch afficionados. Here are the pieces that will surely ignite the auction house during the next session on February 11, 2024 (check the Interencheres platform for more details).


UNIVERSAL GENÈVE, Polerouteur Jet – 10 080 euros
MOVADO, Calendrier Quantième Perpétuel – 4 400 euros
HEUER, Regatta – 4 070 euros


With the recent news of Breitling’s acquisition of Universal Genève, be sure to keep on eye on this lot in particular.

Up for auction: a Universal Genève Polerouteur Jet, yellow gold, 35mm case and snake chain bracelet.

Earning wide acclaim for its iconic chronographs and retro looking timepieces, Universal Genève is a collector’s favourite. The Polerouter Jet was created in 1954 by Gérald Genta nicknamed ‘the Picasso of watches’. It was a revolutionary timepiece when it came out, owing to the fact it was one of the first to be magnetism resistant. These were the watches worn by the jet pilots of the airline company SAS, which scheduled flights from Europe to the United State flying over the North Pole. The model that is up for auction was released during the 1960s. The 35mm case and ‘snake chain’ bracelet are 18kt yellow gold and extremely rare because of how few were made.

Produced from 1954 to 1955.

Some of the features of this watch are its dial, which is brushed pink gold (original dial), the inner bezel with stylized and embossed indices, Dauphine hands and a large pink gold seconds hand. The watch is animated by a self-winding movement with a micro rotor – a Universal Genève hallmark. And its estimated value? Bids start at €3,000-5,000, which guarantees a formidable bidding war.

Estimated value: €3,000-5,000

MOVADO, Calendrier Quantième Perpétuel

Another historically significant piece is this 1987 Movado Perpetual Calendar watch. The reference for this timepiece is 40.B3.881 and was released for the 100th anniversary of the watch manufacturer, making it a highly prized model.

Up for auction: a Historical Movado 1881 Perpetual Calendar, circa 1987.

The 35mm yellow gold (18kt) case is Art Deco style and has teardrop lugs, a gadroon caseband, and a screwed-down case back – numbered and stamped with the Movado hallmark. The silver dial is equipped with a rail-track minute circle and four counters, one for the hours and minutes, another for the perpetual calendar that accounts for leap years (the date is at 9h, the days are at 3h and the months at 9h), and one for the moon phase at 6h.

Released for Movado’s 100th anniversary.

The dial sports yellow gold spear-shaped hands and the watch comes with an original Movado leather bracelet. Within beats an automatic movement calibre (signed) and a perpetual calendar module. Its estimated value is €3,000-4,000.

Estimated value: €3000-4000

HEUER, Regatta

Our final pick is fun and quite out of the ordinary: the Heuer Regatta. This watch was released in the 1960s as a collaboration between Heuer and Aquastar.

Heuer Regatta 100M from 1986.

This little gem sets itself apart thanks to its ‘Régate chronograph’ (yachttimer), which appears on the dial, with its five countdown discs that change colour. These discs help the sailor keep track of the ten minutes on the starting line of the regatta. Once activated by the pusher set at 2h, the five black discs become blue and, as the seconds go by, they turn orange. At the end of the first five minutes, all the discs are orange and for the next five they will go progressively back to black. So, after ten minutes the countdown is over.

Rare yachting chronograph with countdown track (5 minutes).
Estimated value: €1,500-2,000

The orange flyback hand automatically sets itself back and the discs turn blue. The estimated value of this 1986 Heuer Regatta up for auction is €1,500-2,000. It comes in an anodized grey steel case that is barrel shaped with a screwed-down case back. The watch is equipped with an automatic movement mechanical calibre (Lemania signed Heuer).


See also: