Last June there was a special Christie’s auction that featured a series of timepieces owned by James Ward Packard – namesake of Packard automobiles. The highlight of the auction was this specially commissioned Vacheron Constantin pocket watch made in 1918.
The pocket watch came in a hand-chiseled 20k gold case with J.W. Packard’s insignia on the caseback. The beautiful gold case was hand-engraved and the dial was simplistic given all the features the watch had. Inside of the grande complication was a beautiful movement that offered the time, 30 minute chronograph, minute repeater, and grande and petite sonnerie. You’d never know all that based on looking at the dial. Really a great timepiece – this guy has good taste.
This pocket watch was estimated to reach up to $500,000 at auction but ended up going for almost $1.8 million. The winner? Vacheron Constantin. Their museum won the bidding watch to add to their collection of historical pieces. Vacheron’s own forum TheHourLounge.com has more details and images here (images of the watch are from there as well).
Really a beautiful one of a kind creation. Packard was a serious collector and his legacy lives on in the watches he had built for himself.