Artcurial, Monaco, 22 July 2014
Sold for €10,400
Omega fans will know that a limited edition version of the Petrograd was launched in 2013 as part of the brand’s Sochi winter Olympics collection, based on an archive model made in 1915 for a high-ranking Russian.
The Sochi watch was not, however, the first re-birth of the Petrograd, which last appeared in 2003 in Omega’s ‘Museum Collection’ series.
When I first flicked through Artcurial’s catalogue I assumed that lot 211 was one such reproduction – but closer inspection revealed it to be an “original” from around 1926. Not only was it more subtle than the Sochi version, the watch had an exquisite two button chronograph movement.
According to the experts at Omega’s musem, however, a chronograph version of the Petrograd never existed and the 28.9mm movement in this offering didn’t make an appearance until the late 1930s. All this was pointed out to Artcurial pre-auction, and featured in a saleroom notice – despite which the watch still sold for a mid-estimate sum.
Regardless of whether or not it was genuine, the buyer got a watch in tidy condition with a nicely mellowed dial – and very wearable, too, at 32mm by 46mm. At a price of €10,400, it realised about the same amount as a new Sochi version – and was probably a better investment.