Celebrity owned watches always seem to obtain a premium in regards to price, especially when the watch itself is desirable as well, and comes with quite a large dose of pedigree. That was the case of the Breitling Duograph that Phillips auctioned last year, and was previous the property of three-times Formula One Champion Jack Brabham.
Brabham made especially a name for himself for being the only Formula One driver to ever win a championship in a car that bears his own name. An accomplishment that I don’t see repeated anytime soon. In 1960 he was gifted this Breitling Duograph after winning the Championship in that year.
Housed in a steel case of 38.5mm of diameter, the design of this Breitling is very clean and to the point. It does feature, however, a split-second complication, making it to one of the coveted Breitlings of its era. The same can be said of the movement that powers this watch. Venus caliber 185 was a manual wind split-second chronograph, fitted with a column wheel and a Breguet spiral mainspring. It was considered one of the prime chronograph movements of its time. It is also a complication that Breitling recently revived in its collection with the Navitimer Rattrapante.
Interesting is that it seems as if the chronograph only has two pushers, while the Venus caliber 185 is calibrated to have three. The third one stops one of the second’s hands and is located in the crown. When you look carefully, you can see that Breitling placed the entire crown slightly away from the case, acting as a whole for the pusher of the split-second function of the watch.
Brabham passed away in May of 2014 at the age of 88, leaving behind a legacy, as well as this watch. The amazing condition of it, either points out that he was a very careful owner, or safely stored the watch away. Either way, it is a great example of how an amazing watch can elevate to even higher grounds due to an impressive provenance.