The much-in-news fine, exceptional and antique 18K gold, enamel and diamond-set hunter case ‘petite souscription Ă tact’ watch that was owned by Empress Josephine, wife of French ruler Napoleon Bonaparte lately got sold for $1.3 mn at Christie’s auction house in Geneva. This amount is seven-fold of the anticipated price during its pre-auction.
There isn’t any information available about the anonymous buyer. The watch is a replica of the ‘montre a tact’ or ‘tactile watch’ pattern designed by Abraham Louis Breguet in 1790, when it was inappropriate to ask for time in public. The USP of the watch is its very ability to enable wearer identify time by its mere feel from outside as the watch hand resides outside.
In 1799, Josephine placed an order for this watch at 3,000 francs. Later, in 1804, diamonds were embedded when Napoleon was bestowed with the crown of Emperor of France. Later this watch was given to Hortense, wife of Napoleon’s brother Joseph Bonparte. Hortense stepped on to the pedestal of the Queen of Holland when Napoleon made his brother King in 1806, and it was then this watch the watch was then imprinted with an alphabet ‘H’.