Sotheby's to Sell Rare Swatch Collection in Geneva Auction

Sotheby's to Sell 1,000 Rare Swatch Watches
  • Almost 1,000 Swatch timepieces will be on block in November
  • Collection belongs to designers who worked for brand in 1980s

Sotheby’s will sell a collection of almost 1,000 Swatch timepieces dating back to the early days of the brand in the 1980s, including prototypes and models that have never been for sale.

Marlyse Schmid and Bernard Muller, who were early designers for Swatch, are offering their collection at a Geneva auction Nov. 10, Sotheby’s said in a statement Friday. The single lot is comprised of more than 4,000 items, and includes 380 prototypes as well as technical drawings, sketches and hundreds of dials and cases. Sotheby’s estimates the lot will fetch more than 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million).

The success of the Swatch Group AG’s Swatch, a mass-market plastic watch that kept factories running, helped revive the Swiss watch industry after it faced a loss of 60,000 jobs in the 1970s and 1980s. The industry had underestimated the threat of the quartz watches, which were cheaper and more exact.

In April, a collection of more than 5,800 Swatch watches went under the hammer for HK46.7 million ($6 million) in a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong. That lot included pieces of Swatch-related artwork, including some by Keith Haring.

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