Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu (23 November 2021)

Date of Auction: 23rd November 2021

Sold for £6,500

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

A French 18ct gold collar necklace and bracelet by Gay Frères, composed of woven inter-linked ropetwist and polished X-shaped links, the necklace clasp stamped with maker’s mark, London import mark for London 1973, French export ‘Mercury’ head for ‘750’ standard and sponsor’s mark ‘S&S’, the matching bracelet with slide action clasp, stamped with maker’s mark, London import mark for 1977 and similar sponsor’s mark, necklace length 42cm, bracelet 19cm. £6,000-£8,000


The workshop of Gay Frères was created in 1835 by Jean-Pierre Gay and Gaspard Tissot in Geneva. They specialised in making chains for pocket watches and jewellery and by the beginning of the 20th century were supplying watch bracelets for the biggest Swiss watch companies. Rolex was an early client of the company, and Gay Frères produced stainless steel, gold and platinum bracelets for them. By the 1940s, they were supplying Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin, and soon also working for other watch makers including Audermars Piquet and Jaeger LeCoultre. By the 1970s, the company, still family owned, were running the largest factory in Geneva, employing over 500 specialist craftsmen. Gay Frères went on to create jewellery for the prestigious Parisian Maisons such as Hermès and Van Cleef & Arpels. They continue to be regarded as world specialists in handmade chains and watch bracelets, and produce a new jewellery collection each year.