List Price £420,000
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By Audemars Piguet (Swiss, founded 1875)
This truly spectacular watch, encrusted with countless diamonds and sapphires, is a unique piece by one of the world’s leading fine watch manufacturers.
This exceptionally fine, utterly unique, and truly magnificent watch is a remarkable example of Swiss watchmaking and a superb demonstration of the art of the jeweller.
The front cover of the 18K white gold outer case represents daytime, its surface profusely gem-set with a rayed sun wrought from yellow sapphires, which is partially obscured by a cloud crafted from inset white diamonds, all above a sky-blue background composed from light blue sapphires. The back cover, in contrast to the front, represents night, with a crescent moon of yellow sapphires, a fragment of cloud crafted from diamonds, and a background sky of dark blue sapphires dotted with diamond-studded stars. Both halves of the case are connected below by a barrel-shaped lug set with diamonds and cabochon sapphire terminals, while the top of the case is surmounted by twin spiral bows inset with white diamonds, between which sits the diamond-set winding crown topped with a large cabochon sapphire.
The double-sided 18K white gold inner case is as beautifully adorned with fine gems as the outer case. The front of the inner case features a centrally placed circular mother-of-pearl dial, encompassed by alternating blue sapphire and white diamond hour indices. The dial is surrounded by a border wrought to resemble the petals of a flower, the petals formed from mother-of-pearl and blue sapphire.
The reverse side of the inner case features a highly unusual yet completely charming composition: silhouetted against a diamond-inset full moon, and surrounded by a lapis lazuli sky studded with diamond stars, is a black bat—the instantly recognisable symbol of Batman. This bat is an automaton, and it turns on an axis that is activated by a slide on the side of the inner case.
The dial of the watch is signed ‘Audemars Piguet’, while the case is numbered ‘D 94947’, and the movement is numbered ‘366996’.
The piece, which is inset with approximately 38 carats of diamonds and 59 carats of sapphires—numbering almost 1,600 stones in total—was commissioned and made as a unique gift and was purchased from Audemars Piguet in 2002 for 970,000 Swiss Francs. The movement, too, was specially created to allow for the animation of the utterly unique automaton.
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