INTRODUCTION A large collection of rare watches and clocks belonging to the late Swiss actor Michael Simon have been auctioned at a Geneva hotel.
INTRODUCTION A large collection of rare watches and clocks belonging to the late Swiss actor Michael Simon have been auctioned at a Geneva hotel. The actor died last year and the timepieces were just part of his fortune, worth 20 million Swiss francs (4.65 million)
SYNOPSIS: There was an eye-full and ear-full of watches and clocks on display....
But despite the size of the clocks it was the pocket watches which were the most expensive and popular items for sale.
Apart from the exotic there was also the erotic. Michael Simon owned a number of these miniature fob watches. Although tiny, many of them have highly intricate painting and etches inscribed on them.
The highest price for an erotic watch was 33,000 francs (7,670). It was paid for this miniature which is enamelled with scenes from Boccacio's Decameron.
This wrist-watch was worn by the famous United States pilot, Charles Lindbergh, on his historical flight across the Atlantic more than 50 years ago. It fetched 5,200 francs (GBP1,210).
Then came the biggest auction for the day. It was for a beautiful and historic Chinese gold and enamel watch, dated 1815.
The bidding for the watch was intense. But as a whole the auction was a disappointment for the experts. The day's sales were expected to fetch 1.8 million francs (420,000), but in the end the final amount was a somewhat more modest one and a half million (350,000).
After a bitterly-fought battle with a Saudi Arabian collector, a West German bought the Chinese watch for 500,000 francs (115,000) It was the highest price of the day.
Although Switzerland is the home of watchmaking, there probably won't be such a colourful set of timepieces on sale -- for quite a long time.