An industrial designer by trade, Sam Mann is well known and respected in design, collecting, and automotive circles around the world. A highly successful entrepreneur and inventor – he has in the neighborhood of 80 patents in his name – his professional successes afforded him the opportunity to combine his interests in design and manufacturing with his love for the automobile. His collection today, celebrated as one of the world’s leading car collections, is a labor of love for both Sam and his wife of 45 years, Emily. Today, with approximately 50 cars in their collection, it is impossible for Sam and Emily to enjoy them all. As such, they have chosen to present the following five vehicles in Monterey, and RM Sotheby’s is extremely honoured to offer the following selections fromtheir collection.
Owned by one of Napoleon’s most brilliant generals and then the founder of the world’s first news agency, the story of Breguet No. 217 — one of only two watches of its kind from the very rare perpétuelle series — is extraordinary
Regarded as one of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s masterpieces, the reappearance of this exceptional perpétuelle watch after decades in an important private collection provides devotees with the opportunity to obtain one of the most complicated and desirable watches ever made. Its remarkable provenance includes one of Napoleon’s generals — later a rival — and Charles-Louis Havas, the founder of Agence France-Presse (AFP), the world’s first news agency.
In addition to being from the self-winding or perpétuelle series, a great rarity in itself, Breguet No. 217 has the extra complications of both day and month calendar, power reserve and, most unusually and importantly, an equation of time indication. The equation of time in astronomy is the quantity that needs to be added or subtracted to switch from real time given by the sun, to the mean time: our time, which arbitrarily divides a day into 24 hours.
Within Breguet’s total production between 1790 and 1830, only 15 watches with equation of time were made. Of these 15, only two are known to have been from the perpétuelle series — No. 217, and the legendary ultra-complicated watch No. 160, known as the ‘Marie Antoinette’ and now in the L. A. Mayer Museum in Jerusalem.
Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, but it was in Paris that he spent most of his career. His early breakthroughs included the development of the successful self-winding perpétuelle watches, the introduction of the gongs for repeating watches and the first shock-protection for balance pivots. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were among the early enthusiasts for his watchmaking.
During the French Revolution, Breguet took refuge in Switzerland. When he returned to Paris, it was with the ideas that led to the Breguet balance-spring, his first carriage clock (sold to Bonaparte), the ‘sympathique’ clock and its dependent watch, the tact watch, and finally the tourbillon, patented in 1801.
He became the watchmaker to the scientific, military, financial and diplomatic elites of the age. For his most celebrated clients Breguet designed exceptional timepieces, including the world’s very first wristwatch, conceived in 1810 for Caroline Murat, queen of Naples.
No. 217 was first sold in 1800 to Jean Victor Marie Moreau, who paid 3,600 francs for the watch. Moreau was a French general who served under Napoleon Bonaparte before later becoming a rival, and ultimately being exiled to the United States of America.
Moreau arrived in the USA in 1805. Seven years later President Madison offered him command of the U.S. troops, but Moreau decided instead to return to Europe, where he became involved with republican intriguers supporting the Prussians and Austrians in leading an army against Napoleon.
Moreau was mortally wounded at the Battle of Dresden in 1813 and died six days later from his injuries. His wife received a pension from Tsar Alexander I of Russia, and Moreau was posthumously given the rank of Marshal of France by Louis XVIII.
Breguet, as was his custom, particularly with the perpétuelle watches, bought back watch No. 217, presumably from Moreau’s family. He made some aesthetic improvements to it in the form of a new case and a stunning new guilloché silver dial by Tavernier in the latest style. This replaced the original white enamel dial, which by 1817 would have been regarded as old-fashioned.
Breguet’s repurchasing, updating and resale of his watches made excellent business sense because he could often update the watch and resell it for a much higher price. The perpétuelles, in particular, were very expensive, selling for upwards of 3,000 francs.
Charles-Louis Havas became the second owner of watch No. 217, purchasing it on 31 December 1817 for 4,800 francs. Born in 1783 in Rouen, France, into a wealthy Jewish family of Hungarian descent, Havas was a merchant, banker and publisher who had learned a number of languages — a very useful tool for his future business exploits.
In August 1832 he opened his own office in Paris, supplying news about France to foreign customers and translating articles from foreign papers and selling the translations to bankers, businessmen and politicians. Three years later, he restructured his operation and launched the world’s first news agency, calling it Agence Havas, which was described as ‘the first information bureau for the press’.
Havas employed every form of information technology available at the time, including hundreds of carrier pigeons delivering daily information on London stock exchange prices and news on various wars and conflicts. He was the first to use Samuel Morse’s invention, installing electromagnetic telegraph machines as of 1845, and thereby revolutionising the distribution of news.
The growth of the agency saw correspondents reporting from Crimea, Italy, Mexico and the United States. To cover his growing costs, the pioneering Havas created an advertising division in 1852.
His concept of an agency distributing news to the media was quickly adopted in other countries, notably by his most prominent employees, Paul Julius Reuter and Bernhard Wolff, who went on to establish Reuters in the United Kingdom and Wolff in Germany, the forerunner of Deutsche Presse Agentur. The 1859 agreement between the three major agencies — Reuter, based in London, Wolff in Berlin, and Havas — divided the world between them for the collection and dissemination of information.
Charles-Louis Havas passed away on 21 May 1858, and in 1879 Agence Havas became a publicly limited company.
On 25 November 1940 the News section of Havas was nationalised and became a government agency. The advertising branch, which retains the name Havas, and the news branch, which was renamed Office Français d’Information (OFI), were legally separated. Less than four years later, a group of journalists seized the offices of the OFI and issued the first news dispatch from the liberated city under the name Agence France-Presse.
Breguet watch No. 217 was sold at Sotheby’s in London in July 1965, and was described in the catalogue as ‘probably the finest Breguet watch to be offered for sale since well before the war’. It was bought by the famous Portuguese collector and art connoisseur Antonio Medeiros e Almeida for the then enormous sum of £8,500, an event deemed worthy of a story in The Daily Telegraph in London.
Today, Agence France-Presse (AFP), the company built by Charles-Louis Havas and headquartered in Paris, is the world’s third largest international news agency after Associated Press and Reuters.
Come solitamente accade, le Maison più blasonate caratterizzano il tempo con le loro creazioni, e questo oggetto dalla cassa riconoscibilissima ed ormai più che meritatamente entrata nella storia, ne è un’esempio lampante. Stiamo parlando del Patek Philippe Ref. 2441 o meglio conosciuto come: Tour Eiffel.
La produzione di questa referenza è iniziata nel 1948 proseguendo per un decennio. Molto raffinato e raro, la sua particolare cassa rettangolare “poggia” su anse a base quadrata dalla forma curvilinea a ricordare, neanche troppo vagamente, i quattro pilastri che sostengono la Torre Eiffel.
Patek Philippe ha avviato la produzione della referenza 2441 nel 1948 e l’ha proseguita almeno fino al 1955 con un totale di circa 150/200 pezzi realizzati. Ciò fa di questo oggetto l’obbiettivo di molti collezionisti poiché gli esemplari noti al mercato (e in particolare modo in queste condizioni) non supera qualche dozzina.
Solo per sottolinearne l’importanza storica, nel 1997 Patek Philippe produsse l’edizione limitata “Pagoda” con referenza 5500 per celebrare la nuova sede di Ginevra. Non a caso la Ref. 2441 fu fonte di chiara ispirazione per questa produzione contemporanea.
- Lotto 350: Honda RS125 NF4 Grand Prix, 1964 ex-Noboru ‘Nobby’ Ueda, Givi Racing, stima £10,000-14,000
- Lotto 351: Honda RS125 NF4 Racing,1994, ex-Noboru ‘Nobby’ Ueda, Givi Racing, stimata £10,000-14,000
- Lotto 352: Honda RS125R Racing,1998, ex-Noboru ‘Nobby’ Ueda, Givi Racing, stima £8,000-12,000
- Lotto 353: Mondial 125cc Grand Prix Racing,1987, stima £7,000-10,000
- Lotto 354: Honda 125cc CR93 Racing, 1962 circa, stima £22,000-24,000
- Lotto 355: Yamaha TZ125 Racing, 1994 ex-Katja Poensgen, stima £7,000-10,000
- Lot 350: Ex-Noboru ‘Nobby’ Ueda, Givi Racing, 1994 Honda RS125 NF4 Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle, estimate £10,000-14,000
- Lot 351: The ex-Noboru ‘Nobby’ Ueda, Givi Racing, 1994 Honda RS125 NF4 Racing Motorcycle, estimate £10,000-14,000
- Lot 352: The ex-Noboru ‘Nobby’ Ueda, Givi Racing, 1998 Honda RS125R Racing Motorcycle, estimate £8,000-12,000
- Lot 353: 1987 Mondial 125cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle, estimate £7,000-10,000
- Lot 354: c.1962 Honda 125cc CR93 Racing Motorcycle, estimate £22,000-24,000
- Lot 355: Ex-Katja Poensgen, 1994 Yamaha TZ125 Racing Motorcycle, estimate £7,000-10,000
RM Sotheby’s celebrated its 18th year in Amelia Island by presenting a terrific series of best-of-category automobiles across the block on March 12th. As one of the auction calendar favorites, our Amelia Island sale achieved a strong $38 million in sales to a standing room only crowd packed with bidders who journeyed from 20 countries.
RM Sotheby’s will reprise its role as the official auction house of Florida’s renowned Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, with the presentation of its 18th annual collector car sale at the prestigious Ritz-Carlton, March 12. From coachbuilt classics to modern supercars loaded with the latest in automotive technology, the handpicked roster of 90+ automobiles spans over a century of automotive styling and design.
Entries for the March sale are led by a handsome 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Cabriolet A, chassis no. 408371. A one-off design featuring a bevy of special features including a raked vee’d windshield, louvered front hood, fitted luggage and five-speed transmission, this stunning 540 K boasts an exceptional provenance highlighted by some of the most famous names in the hobby (Est. $3,000,000 – $4,000,000).
- a 1932 Ford Model 18 Edsel Ford Speedster; the first of three one-off custom speedsters designed by Bob Gregorie for Edsel Ford, this once long lost and now beautifully restored Ford has never before been offered for public sale (Est. $1,200,000 – $1,400,000);
- a 1953 Siata 300 BC Barchetta by Bertone, campaigned in Pennsylvania hill climbs and ice races in period and offered in largely original condition from its owner of an incredible 60 years (Est. $200,000 – $250,000);
- a 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra, CSX 2188, the recipient of an exacting restoration by marque experts and stunning in black over red with chrome wire wheels (Est. $950,000 – $1,200,000);
- a 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO, the first 288 GTO officially delivered in Japan (Est. $2,300,000 – $2,600,000); and,
- a 2014 Pagani Huayra, a design and performance masterpiece capable of sprinting 0 – 60 in just 3.0 seconds and showing less than 400 miles from new (Est. $1,900,000 – $2,200,000).
In addition to its traditional automobile offering, RM Sotheby’s is proud to support the fundraising initiatives of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance via the presentation of a series of charity lots at the start of the March 12 auction, with proceeds benefiting Spina Bifida of Jacksonville.
A complete list of offerings is found in the digital catalogue, now available for downloading here. Further information, hi-res images and interview opportunities with RM Sotheby’s specialists are available and can be easily arranged upon request. Additionally, we’d like to take this opportunity to extend you an invite to join us at the event where an exciting range of media opportunities will be available. To register for media credentials, please click here.
Info on Bonhams
This February, Christie’s is to celebrate the release of the 24th Bond film with charity auctions, live in London and online. Here highlights – including an Aston Martin DB10 and Q’s laptop — and how you can bid.
The live auction on 18 February is led by an Aston Martin DB10, one of the series of DB10s designed and engineered by Aston Martin exclusively for James Bond, Spectre, illustrated above. Most of the DB10s were modified for use in the filming of Spectre, but two of those produced were kept back as show cars, for display purposes only, and this is one of them. The car is expected to realise between £1,000,000 and £1,500,000 and is to date the only DB10 to be released for public sale by Aston Martin and EON Productions. This is the only car that includes a special plaque signed by Daniel Craig and was displayed at the world premiere of Spectre at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Aston Martin has been associated with the James Bond franchise for over 50 years, with the DB10 model featuring in the latest Bond film, Spectre.
Omega Seamaster 300 watch worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond. Estimate: £15,000-20,000. To be offered in Spectre — The Auction on 18 February at Christie’s in London
Additional highlights of the live sale include the Omega Seamaster 300 watch that was worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond, estimated at £15,000-20,000, while our online-only sale is to feature the laptop used by actor Ben Whishshaw as Q, estimated at £4,000-6,000, and a pair of Tom Ford ‘Snowdon’ sunglasses, worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond, estimated at £4,000-6,000.
Q (Ben Whishaw) using his laptop on set. To be offered in Spectre — The Auction, 16-23 February, online
Commenting on the sale, David Linley, Honorary Chairman, Christie’s EMERI, said: ‘As a life-long James Bond fan it gives me great pleasure for Christie’s to be part of this James Bond Spectre charity auction, celebrating the 24th film in the franchise. All proceeds of the auction will benefit Médecins Sans Frontières, other charitable organisations, and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS). We are proud to continue Cubby Broccoli’s philosophy of giving something back.’