MICHAEL Z. BERGER CO. POUR PABLO PICASSO. TRES RARE MONTRE BRACELET EN ACIER MOUVEMENT MECANIQUE MICHAEL Z. BERGER CO. FOR PABLO PICASSO. A VERY RARE STAINLESS STEEL MANUAL WIND BRACELET WATCH  Circa 1960

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Lot 244
MICHAEL Z. BERGER CO. POUR PABLO PICASSO. TRES RARE MONTRE BRACELET EN ACIER MOUVEMENT MECANIQUE
MICHAEL Z. BERGER CO. FOR PABLO PICASSO. A VERY RARE STAINLESS STEEL MANUAL WIND BRACELET WATCH Circa 1960

Sold for € 219,050 (US$ 256,923) inc. premium
MICHAEL Z. BERGER CO. POUR PABLO PICASSO. TRES RARE MONTRE BRACELET EN ACIER MOUVEMENT MECANIQUE
MICHAEL Z. BERGER CO. FOR PABLO PICASSO. A VERY RARE STAINLESS STEEL MANUAL WIND BRACELET WATCH
Date: Circa 1960
Movement: 17-jewel manual wind
Dial: Silvered, black 'Pablo Picasso' forming the hour markers, gilt lance hands with luminous inserts, centre seconds
Case: Brushed and polished round, screw down back, stepped bezel
Strap/Bracelet: Fitted expandable bracelet
Signed: Movement signed Michael Z. Berger Co, inside case back stamped M.T. Co.
Size: 32mm

Footnotes

  • Picasso is revered in the art world and beyond for such masterpieces as Guernica, La Vie and Girl Before a Mirror, but in the world of horology, a small collection of relatively humble timepieces owned by the father of Modern Art are considered the Holy Grail of watches.

    In horological circles Pablo Picasso is well known from the often irreverent photographic portraits in which he wore many of his watches prominently. Makers of these watches include the greats like his Rolex GMT Master, a Jaeger-LeCoultre triple calendar moon phase and some say even a Patek Ref.2497 although there are no images presently that support this. One that also often appeared in photographs is the present lot.

    There is a tradition in watchmaking to replace numerals with the letters to spell out a name. It is serendipitous that Pablo Picasso is 12 letters long and it was something he was surely aware of and was waiting to create when he had the chance. Picasso certainly enjoyed wearing and showing off this watch as visible in many portraits. The most famous of these are the iconic images captured by Cecil Beaton of Picasso in the 60s. In these images, part of the Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, the characters forming Picasso's name can be clearly seen as he stands in his studio with cigarette in hand.

    This piece of history was personally gifted by the artist to his friend and fellow creative, the late Greek sculptor Lela Kanellopoulou. She met Picasso at the Cahiers d'Art, having collaborated with Christian Zervos, publisher of the important Cahiers d'Art magazine and of the catalogue raisoné of the works of Picasso.

    According to the vendor, one of Lela's relations, she was someone of intrigue for Picasso who gave her the pet name 'La Belle Helene' as a reference to her beauty, Greek nationality and background in Archaeology. She told her nephew that one day in the 1960s, Picasso took the watch off his wrist and gave it to her, one of a few gifts along with a ceramic of his then wife Jacqueline.

    The current lot offered is a manual wind steel bracelet watch by little known Swiss watch Producer Michael Z. Berger who still exist in the United states of America producing branded products. The case is signed M.T. Co of Hong Kong who also still exist producing branded products. Only two other named dial watches like this are known with both of them residing in the possession of the Picasso foundation. As such it makes this particular watch likely to be the only example to be offered in the public domain – and with the unique provenance of being gifted directly by one of the 20th Century's greatest artists.

Saleroom notices

  • The Picasso foundation have informed us that they do not have the other two Picasso dial watches in their collection. La fondation Picasso nous a informé qu'elle n'est pas en possession des deux autres exemplaires de la montre Picasso.
Contacts
MICHAEL Z. BERGER CO. POUR PABLO PICASSO. TRES RARE MONTRE BRACELET EN ACIER MOUVEMENT MECANIQUE MICHAEL Z. BERGER CO. FOR PABLO PICASSO. A VERY RARE STAINLESS STEEL MANUAL WIND BRACELET WATCH  Circa 1960
Auction information

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Buyer's Premium Rates
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25% from €12,501 to €400,000 the Hammer Price
20% from €400,001 to €4,000,000 the Hammer Price
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Shipping Notices

En raison de restrictions à l'importation, Bonhams ne peut pas effectuer la livraison de lots contenant de la nacre ou du rubis à destination des États-Unis.

Dans certaines circonstances, nous ne sommes pas en mesure d'expédier la montre avec son bracelet d'origine, en raison des réglementations concernant les matériaux dérivés d'espèces en voie de disparition ou protégées.

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