June 18, 2020 / 11:55 AM / 16 days ago

George III's gold Breguet watch to be auctioned in London

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Breguet is seen at the Baselworld watch and jewellery fair in Basel, Switzerland March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - A gold Breguet watch of George III, the British king who was forced to accept American independence after the revolutionary war of 1775-1783, will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in London next month.

The four-minute tourbillon watch, made by Abraham-Louis Breguet and engraved with the king’s royal cypher and the letters G & R, was sold to George in 1808 during the Napoleonic Wars.

It is valued at 700,000 to one million pounds ($1.25 million). The watch sold for 551,500 pounds at an auction in 1999. Other owners of Breguet watches included Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and the Russian tsars.

“Abraham Louis-Breguet watches were the theory of everything in the early 19th century,” said Daryn Schnipper, global chairman of Sotheby’s Watch Division.

Schnipper said such watches incorporated “all the scientific discoveries of the past centuries, the philosophy of the Enlightenment and the great vision of a man who revolutionised watchmaking and placed time and precision at the core of modern society.”

The watch is the only four-minute Tourbillon with a dial in English. It is engraved with the indication “Whirling About Regulator”, a literal translation from the French “Régulateur à Tourbillon”.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

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