Since launching its January sales in Monaco three years ago, French auction house Artcurial has been organising ever-more exciting auctions in the bijou principality – and now, this winter, it will break ground again with a world first. On January 18, at the Monaco Yacht Club, Artcurial will host a sale exclusively dedicated to women’s watches – the first of its kind – with some 92 timepieces that span seven decades and hail from the top maisons.
The sale is titled Time is Feminine and feels in tune with a contemporary move towards watches that truly embody horology designed with women in mind. Cue the 16 or so Piaget watches that Artcurial’s watchmaking director Marie Sanna-Legrand spent months sourcing from around the globe: they hail chiefly from the 1960s, an especially experimental decade for Piaget as its designs channelled the era’s adventurous fashions. Equipped with its super-thin movements, the house notably paired semiprecious stones with yellow gold, in pieces such as a standout 1975 diamond-trimmed number with a malachite and onyx dial set on hammered gold, which is in the sale for an estimate of €6,000-€8,000; or the fabulous 18ct gold bangle watch (€10,000-€15,000) of interlocking lapis lazuli and nephrite. Meanwhile, a 1967 cuff watch (€6,000-€8,000) fashioned from gold hoops with a lapis lazuli dial is exemplary vintage Piaget style.
Other icons to cross the block include Cartier Tank and Santos models, including a classic 2010 white gold and diamond bezelled Santos Demoiselle Mini (€6,000-€8,000) and a charmingly petite, 19mm x 33mm yellow gold Tank Bec d’Aigle (€2,500-€3,500) from 1940. Van Cleef & Arpels’ game-changing Pont des Amoureux won its share of awards thanks to its retrograde mechanism that tells the time through two lovers meeting on a bridge. This sale’s model is from its 2010 debut year, and is the biggest ticket lot in the sale at €60,000-€80,000.
Vintage Bulgari Serpenti – beloved for their coiling bracelet and watch dial concealed in a snake’s head – make an appearance in the form of a 1960s chic yellow gold model (€7,000-€9,000). Finally, a highly unusual 1962 Patek Philippe pendant watch (€30,000-€50,000), in sapphire-studded gold with a matching chain, is a shining example of the genre.
Other venerable marques include Vacheron Constantin, whose octagonal c1980, diamond-set piece features a rakish, gold zigzag dial on a matching bracelet (€2,500-€3,500). Finally, Jaeger-LeCoultre is well represented by several signature 1950s secret jewellery watches, such as an interlinking gold bracelet (€2,500-€3,500) punctuated with diamonds, and an elegant platinum Riviera diamond-set creation (€8,000-€12,000). Slim, classical and oozing old Hollywood glamour, they could easily be seen on the wrists of Marilyn Monroe or Grace Kelly.