lot 29

Thierry Ducret

Nr.02 Piece Unique

Estimate CHF 50 000 / CHF 90 000
Starting bid CHF 45 000

Hammer price CHF 82 000
Total bids 11
Buyer’s premium will not be charged
This particular watch was made by a teacher at the watchmaking school. Listen, you say, does this contain any important information? That is exactly the point, what is contained. I imagine this plot as follows. Professor Ducret says to his students, “Take, for example, the Eta/Unitas caliber 6498. That’s a really great caliber. It was developed when you weren’t yet in the world, and it’s very likely that your parents weren’t yet born. Just imagine, its production started in 1950. You have no idea how many wonderful watches can be invented based on this historic caliber. For example, if you put the winding barrel right in the center of the mainplate, coaxial with the hour and minute hands, and arrange the gear train in a spiral shape” ... I hope you understand that I just made up this scene. But it looks like the truth, doesn’t it?
Alex Kutkovoy
More than 10 years editor in Revolution
CHF 50 000 / CHF 90 000


CaseStainless steel, brushed & polished case with a transparent caseback & signed: crown at 3 o'clock
StrapBlack Alligator leather strap with black stitches & a stainless steel pin buckle, signed "Jean Rousseau Paris"
DialOpenworked dial with applied polished blued arrow hands, noir nickel-plated steel bridges & mainplate, signed "T Ducret"
MovementBlack nickel plated shot-blasted, hand-wound steel movement with rhodium-plated wheels, polished screws & a barrel, time display at the same axe complication
Ref.Thierry Ducret 02
Case No.02

Condition report

Case:Brand new
Strap:Brand new
Dial:Mint condition
Movement:Very good, all functions working properly
Amplitude (Dial on top/Lift angle 52):Approx 310°
Accuracy (Dial on top):Approx +3 sec/day


An extremely rare, unusual and spectacular time-only stainless-steel wristwatch from Thierry Ducret, a French independent watchmaker. Made in 2022–2023. Case in stainless steel, diameter 42 mm, mineral glass crystal and mineral glass caseback. Open-worked dial, with “T. Ducret” engraved on a screwed plate. Manual winding movement with central barrel, visible balance wheel and the gear, power reserve up to 45 hours. Functions – display of time in hours and minutes. Black leather strap with stainless-steel pin buckle. Unique piece. 

Lot essay 

The story of this independent watchmaker is off the beaten path. Thierry Ducret came up with the idea of starting his own business as an independent watchmaker in 2017. He's a professor of watchmaking at the prestigious Lyceé Edgar Faure in Morteau, France, where he himself had graduated. Previously, he was involved in the restoration of antique timepieces, and worked for the Pequignet and Michel Herrbelin brands from 1994 to 1996. In 2007, Thierry presented a pocket watch made by himself at the Best Craftsmen competition in France, where he was chosen as one of the winners. 

The master's innovative idea to create a beautiful and rare architecture of the caliber was expressed in an unusual arrangement, with a central mainspring barrel, while the balance, escapement and gear train concentrically surround it.

A decade later, in 2017, he began working on the concept of an 'exhibition' architectural wristwatch with an openworked dial, a central barrel, a balance wheel, and a gear visible on the dial. As a basis for his project, he took the proven Eta / Unitas 6497 caliber, which was modified almost beyond recognition. In fact, only a few parts remained untouched, while in general only some of the original components of the caliber were used in a reworked state, especially the gear train, escapement and remontoir. Everything else is made by Thierry Ducret in his own workshop in Flangebouche (France). The aerodynamically shaped balance with its 12 adjusting screws is made of nickel silver, mainplate and bridges are made of brass and plated with black nickel to create a calm, technical, monochrome style. This style is further emphasized by the use of stainless steel for the case, also handmade by Thierry Ducret. 

The finishing of all components shows a high proportion of manual work. This is especially true of the flat polishing of the steel parts, the shot-blasting and chamfering of the bridges in the traditional trapezoidal shape, the circular graining of the wheels decorated with gray rhodium, the esthetic ball burnishing of the pins, the tips of the wheel axles, and the meticulous concave polishing of the recesses around the jewels, pins, and screws.

The number 02 engraved on a screwed plate on the back of the movement announces that this is the second wristwatch ever made by Thierry Ducret, confirming its extreme rarity and making it a very valuable collector's item. 

Reasons to bid 

The Thierry Ducret No.02 'Monochrome' Piece Unique seems to be an attractive purchase for the collector and connoisseur of fine watchmaking due to its impressive 'exhibition design' and obvious craftsmanship. The master's innovative idea to create a beautiful and rare architecture of the caliber was expressed in an unusual arrangement, with a central mainspring barrel, while the balance, escapement and gear train concentrically surround it. It's definitely one of the most remarkable timepieces of modern independent watchmaking, which shows a growing interest in collector watches made with traditional technologies and a lot of handwork. The present watch has a strong and distinctive character and could well appeal to a connoisseur of the art of watchmaking as an exceptional daily wearer. 

*Under the aegis of Maître Marco Breitenmoser, Huissier Judiciaire