Geneva, May 15, 2023

LOT 331


CHF 70,000 - 140,000

EUR 72,000 - 144,000 / USD 79,000 - 158,000 / HKD 620,000 - 1,240,000

Sold: CHF 82,500

Attributed to Piguet & Meylan
Very fine and rare 18K gold and enamel, pearl-set, quarter repeating centre seconds musical watch with automaton scene.
Empire style case, with split-pearl set bezels, pendant and bow, the band with champleve enamelled decoration, the back enamel panel painted with a very fine composition of Summer flowers over a grey ground.
Automaton scene disclosed by the spring-loaded back, the varicoloured gold automaton scene of a sitting man in classical dress, playing the lyre and children on a see-saw in applied over a finely painted enamel lake-side landscape, a castle on the back ground.

Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original

Brand Breguet, Switzerland

Year Circa 1815

Material 18K yellow gold

Diameter 52 mm.

Caliber 18'", gilt brass double train with free standing barrels, inverted cylinder escapement with plain brass three-arm balance and flat balance spring. Repeating on gongs by depressing the pendant. Pin-disc musical train with 17 vibrating steel teeth on either side of the disc.

Signature Dial


The association between PIGUET & MEYLAN came to an end in 1828. Piguet and his son David Auguste established a new company, PIGUET PÈRE & FILS, located at No. 69 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He died in Geneva, on January 20, 1841. PHILIPPE SAMUEL MEYLAN Born February 15, 1772, in Bas-du- Chenit, died in 1845. At 20 years old he came to Geneva where he worked for the GODEMAR FRÈRES as a Master worker. Afterwards he went back to Brassus where he founded a little factory in 1811. He then returned to Geneva where he settled. He met another watchmaker from his own village, ISAAC PIGUET, with whom he entered into partnership, founding the PIGUET & MEYLAN firm, which would last from 1811 to 1828. It specialised in minute cadratures, musical watches, skeleton or automaton watches, mechanical animals and figures, he is also credited with the invention of the bagnolet caliber.

Many artists used flowers in their pieces as well: roses to represent passion with thorns; pansies from the French pensées, which means my thoughts are of you; forget-me-nots embody enduring passion; daisies stand for innocence; lilacs express the first emotions of love; and mistletoe is a kiss. Just as flowers are the inspiration of love, so too is music. Goldsmiths and jewelers of the 19th century created a variety of miniature instruments for gold and gem-set pendants, lockets, brooches and watches in such forms as the lyre, mandolin and harp. Although it is smaller than usual and signed with the apocryphal signature of Breguet, this watch is very similar to the watch retailed by Fd. Aubert, sold by Antiquorum on 13 October 1996, lot No. 620, which was also produced in the Piguet & Meylan workshop. Philippe Samuel Meylan, born February 15th, 1772 in Bas-du- Chenit, died in 1845. At 20 years old he came to Geneva where he worked for the Godemar Freres in quality of Master worker. Afterward he went back to Brassus where the founded a little factory in 1811. Back to Geneva he definitively settled clown. He met there an other watchmaker from his own village, Isaac Piguet, with whom he associated, founding the Piguet & Meylan Firm, which will last from 1811 to 1828. It specialised in minute "cadratures", musical watches, skeleton or automaton watches, mechanical animals and personages. Daniel Isaac Piguet, born in Chenit in 1775, tied in Geneva in 1841. Very skilful watchmaker, he associated himself a first time with Henry Capt, from 1 802 to 1811, then with Samuel Philippe Meylan, another watchmaker from the same village, until 1828.Their works were signed or marked "P.M." within a lozenge. After 1828, he went on with his activities with his son, under the name of Piguet ID & Fits. Their creations were for a large part made for the Chinese Market. It is told that an important collector from Sidney bought a large quantity of watches and other musical and automaton objects of virtue, but the boat which carried the pieces sank in consequence of a shipwreck, in the middle of the Indian Ocean.