On May 7 in Geneva, Patrizzi & Co. will auction a historic manuscript written between 1818 and 1823, during the last years of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s life. The document, which recently resurfaced, chronicles Breguet’s horological innovations, the history of his firm, watch calibers and complications, and his overall philosophy and designs. Breguet dictated the text to his assistant Louis Moinet and edited and noted corrections by hand. Breguet died in 1823 before it could be completed.
“It is hard to stress the importance of this event to the world and more specifically to the horological world,” said Osvaldo Patrizzi, chairman and CEO of Patrizzi & Co. “These are the writings of the master of horology, the knowledge his lifetime – from which we can learn many details that we have until today only been able to speculate on. It will change watchmaking history.”
The 354-page unbound manuscript is divided into seven lots. The Breguet lots are estimated to sell for CHF 40,000 – 80,000 each (approx. $37,600 – $75,194).
PLEASE NOTE: This auction was originally scheduled for April 25. It has been rescheduled to May 7 due to delays in transporting certain timepieces caused by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The auction will now take place at the Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva.
Additional photos and complete information are available at the official Patrizzi & Co. web site.
In July, 2009, WatchTime presented an article on the exhibition Breguet at the Louvre: An Apogee of European Watchmaking. That article can be accessed here.
The images below show two of the manuscripts to be offered in the sale. These images may be enlarged with a click.