Historically Important Watches at Christie’s

Not that I shop at Christie’s fabulous auctions all the time. but this news certainly drew my attention:

"The season commences with a selection of rare watches, including two historically important pieces from Patek Philippe, each appearing for the first time on the market.

[snip]

"Also of historical importance is the Patek Philippe reference 2499 from the Estate of H. Lee Turner, an exceptionally rare example of Patek Philippe’s perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch (image right, estimate: $250,000-300,000). This wristwatch has an extremely uncommon feature: a transitional dial with applied Arabic numerals.

"The rarity of this wristwatch’s dial and the elegant fluidity of the piece’s design not only attest to the innovations of Patek Philippe, but also to the connoisseurship of its original owner, H. Lee Turner, a very successful lawyer and founder of the paralegal movement. This exquisite timepiece, with its freshness to the market, unbroken provenance and original box and papers, provides collectors with a historical and virtually unique example of Patek Philippe’s ground-breaking complicated wristwatch production."

Actually, Mr. Turner shared the credit with his wife, Betsy (PDF link]:

"Well, the trial work I’ve enjoyed enormously. In conjunction with Betsy we developed a new career for people, primarily women, called paralegal, and of course that was Betsy’s idea – she was Phi Beta Kappa in business – and it took me two or three years to give it a try, but when we did, we found they were an enormous asset to us. We hired almost exclusively women with college degrees who were A students who were housewives, ministers’ wives, doctors’ wives, you name it. We would train them in procedures that we had established and after two or three months the cobwebs kind of disappeared and they became a tremendous asset to us. In 1969, the American Bar heard how we used them, came out, investigated and decided to go with a national program. I was chairman of that I think it was seven or twelve years, I forget which. During that time I lectured all over the United States on the subject of paralegals."

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