Exclusive Timepieces 23 –⁠ 24 April 2022 | Monaco

Auction Details

A wide and extremely attractive selection of collectible timepieces from leading collectors, such as Goldberger with the third part of the famous “Rolex Connoisseur Collection”. Also offered: an assortment of the most sought-after contemporary watches such as the platinum Patek Philippe Nautilus, some very rare examples of the Royal Oak, a single owner’s collection of extraordinary Stella dials Rolex DayDates.

Session I
Saturday 23 April at 2:30 p.m. – lots 1 to 103
Session II
Sunday 24 April at 10:30 a.m. – lots 104 to 181
Session III
Sunday 24 April at 2:30 p.m. – lots 182 to 273

109 Leonidas Attractive and Oversized, Single Button Pilot, Chronograph Wristwatch in Steel, With Black Dial, Made for the Italian Airforce

Estimate: € 2,000 –⁠ 4,000

Sold € 5,850

Lot Description

Model: Pilot Chronograph
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Bracelet Material: Leather Strap
Year: 1940s
Movement: Manual
Caliber: UNITAS 45
Case N°: 693152
Movement N°: 8072
Dimensions: 50 mm
Signed: Dial, movement and case

Nowadays it seems normal to see large watches, with diameters of 40 mm or more. Though, in the middle of the 20th century, fashion and style demanded smaller sized timepieces. It was in this scenario that Leonidas, around the ’40s, decided to go against the current and began to produce large specimens, also considering the type of use to which these objects were destined. The Leonidas Watch Factory was founded in 1841 by Julien Bourquin in Saint-Imier. 1912 Leonidas is purchased by Constant Jeanneret-Droz, one of the three sons of the Excelsior Park founder Jules Frédéric Jeanneret. This should therefore have been the reason that Leonidas produced quite outstanding chronograph movements, because Jeanneret-Droz brought the necessary know-how with him. The heavy all-steel case does not appear to have ever been polished and still shows its original conditions. Absolutely in near-mint condition, the black dial with its Arabic and baton numbers filled in radio is definitely charming. Moreover this watch has been made for the Italian armed forces in the immediate post-war period.