Affordable at Auction: Paul Picot Atelier Technicum

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Determining the estimates of watches that are about to be auctioned is not always easy, or straightforward. Sometimes a lower estimate can create more demand, resulting in a higher sales price, but in general, auctioneers try to be right on the money. That makes one thing what went through the mind of the auctioneer at Sotheby’s when they set the estimate for the Paul Picot Atelier Technicum at US$ 1.000,- – US$2.000,-

Image of the movement of the Paul Picot Atelier Technicum, yet not of the watch at auction
Image of the movement of the Paul Picot Atelier Technicum, yet not of the watch at auction

Of course, Paul Picot is a niche brand with a manufacture in Le Noirmont, Switzerland. They have a style of their own, and the Atelier is perhaps the most expressive line in their collection. What is unique about the Atelier Technicum is that it is a rattrapante chronograph. In fact, Paul Picot was the very first to develop a rattrapante chronograph with a power reserve indicator. Before the Atelier Technicum, this has never been done. As a base movement they used ETA/Valjoux 7750, but gave it a very high finish and a 21 karat gold rotor.

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The steel case of the watch is a rather classical proposition. With a diameter of 40 mm it is not a very large watch, yet thanks to a thin bezel there is still room enough to give the dial all the room to shine. It does this by combining a guilloche background with easy to read subdials and giving ample room to the power reserve indicator. Combined with the blued hands, the result is a very classical watch, yet with a profile of its own. The watch comes with a black alligator leather strap, and although the description says that it has an 18K white gold buckle I would expect that this is in fact just a regular steel one.

Not many people know Paul Picot, and that might be part of the problem with the very low estimate. But for those who do, or simply not care, the Atelier Technicum offers an incredible complication, based on a very reliable movement, in a classical packaging.

More information on the Paul Picot Atelier Technicum can be found on the website of Sotheby’s

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