Exclusive Timepieces 22 –⁠ 23 April 2023 | Monaco

Auction Details

The Monaco Legend Group team has put together an astonishing selection of rarities in the horological field. From the Unique Piece Rolex Yachtmaster, former property of the late President of Rolex Patrick Heiniger, to an outstanding example of the Patek Philippe 2523-1. Not to mention the great selection of rarities destined for Middle Eastern market, such as a Rolex Submariner and Daytona from the Sultanate of Oman and a steel Daytona with UAE emblem on the dial.
Many thanks to Auro Montanari, alias John Goldberger, Roberto Randazzo and George Pakkos for their significant help in supervising the catalogue and to Eric Tortella for his assistance in searching for some of our rarest Patek Philippe watches in his database and releasing his passport of authenticity for them.


Session I: Saturday 22 April, 2:30 PM – lots 1 to 100
Session II: Sunday 23 April, 10:30 AM – lots 101 to 164
Session III: Sunday 23 April, 2:30 PM – lots 165 to 261

45 Vacheron Constantin Very Rare and Precious, Mercator, Retrograde Hours and Minutes, Automatic Wristwatch in Yellow Gold, Made to Commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Gerardus Mercator, Reference 43 050

Estimate: € 15,000 –⁠ 30,000

Sold € 26,000

Model: Mercator
Reference: 43050
Case Material: Yellow Gold
Bracelet Material: Leather Strap
Year: 1994
Movement: Automatic
Caliber: 1120
Case N°: 666 601
Movement N°: 798 171
Dimensions: 36 mm
Signed: Dial, Case and Movement

Combining twin retrograde hands in the form of a compass, the Vacheron Constantin Mercator 43 050 was released in 1994, to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Gerardus Mercator. A pioneering geographer, cartographer and humanist, Mercator is best known for inventing the map projection which has evolved into the world maps we use today. When it was first introduced in the last decade of the 20th century, the Mercator 43 050 was one of very few classically styled watches which featured an unconventional time display: it combines two retrograde hands, in the shape of a compass, which display the hours on the left-hand side and the minutes on the right-hand side. The 36 mm case is inspired by a 1940s Vacheron Constantin model known as the “Geographique”: manufactured in yellow gold it features a stepped bezel, straight, flared lug and a remarkably thin profile, lend a classic aesthetic to an otherwise distinctive and unusual dial layout. Made out with a gold color, the enamel dials depict the hand-drawn maps of Gerardus Mercator from 1587, of the American Continent or as in this instance—Europe, Africa and Asia. The dial is engraved with the shape of the different continents, and then carefully filled out with black enamel. This detailed enamel work is faithfully reproduced on each dial by Lucie and Jean Genbrugge, enamelers of Broechem Belgium. The attention to each detail is remarkable: a mystical sea creature appears at 9 o’clock, while the mountains of Europe are subtly represented as small slopes. Logically, all the wording is in Latin, with phrases such as “Antarticus” or “Tropicus Cancri” appearing throughout. At 4 o’clock, is located a subtile homage to the pair which first envisioned the project, with a “J&L Genbrugge” engraving. Historically and very well preserved, this unconventional watch is a pleasure for the eyes.