Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Hong Kong, Apr 28, 2019

LOT 28


HKD 140,000 - 170,000

CHF 17,800 - 21,000 / USD 18,000 - 22,000

Silver, pair-cased, open-face, key-winding, round-shaped, "Louis XV", coach-clock-watch, with four horological complications: - Striking the four quarters in passing on one bell (function activated by the push-bolt at 12:30) - Quarter-repeater on the same bell (activated by the cord at 4 o'clock) - Date of the month (exterior graduation with central hand) - Alarm (setting on the central revolving dial by fingers) Case-back pierced and repoussé with scrolls, along the edges, centred by a scene showing an allegory of Mercury as the God of Commerce who is surrounded by Arts.

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original

Brand Gilles De Beefe and Hubert Sarton

Year circa 1740-1750 (and circa 1780)

Calibre  34''', full plate, gilded brass, with fusee and chain and barrels, verge escapement, monometallic balance (gilded brass) and blued steel flat hairspring, pierced and engraved gilded large English cock; standing barrel for quarter-striking; standing barrel for quarter-repeater; standing barrel for alarm

Material silver

Caliber 34''', full plate, gilded brass, with fusee and chainand barrels, verge escapement, monometallicbalance (gilded brass) and blued steel flat hairspring,pierced and engraved gilded large English cock;standing barrel for quarter-striking; standing barrelfor quarter-repeater; standing barrel for alarm

Dimensions Ø 115 mm. / Ø 130 mm. (protective case)

Signature dial and movement

Accessories original outer pierced chagrine and silver protectivecase


The present coach-watch bears the signature of Gilles De Beefe (1694-1763) to the movement, while the dial is signed “Sarton à Liège”, most probably Hubert-Dieudonné Sarton (1748-1828). The original dial was likely silver with champlevé enamel numerals, and was undoubtedly changed later to increase legibility, as it was a habit in the late-18th century and early-19th century. A coach-watch, signed “Jh Melly AParis”, with the virtually same décor, is known; see: Antiquorum, Geneva, auction, October 20, 1991, lot 147, sold for the amount of CHF 25 300.- De Beefe, Gilles 1694-1763 Gilles De Beefe was the descendant of a renowned clockmaking family from Befve-lez- Thimister and a skilled clockmaker and engineer. In 1726, he settled in Liège; in 1733 the King of Portugal commissioned him to build two clocks with carillon for the Palácio Nacional de Mafra and De Beefe also created the bells for the cathedral of Lisbon. After perfecting his clockmaking skills he returned to his homeland, where, on September 28, 1739, he was granted the sole and exclusive right to produce and sell in Liège and the county of Looz, clocks with seconds and minutes without crown wheel. He was given this privilege by his prince, Bishop George Louis Berghes. In 1740, De Beefe was appointed Clockmaker to His Highness the Prince and in 1752 he became clockmaker of Saint- Lambert cathedral. In 1754, he concluded an agreement with the cathedral chapter to build a new clock with carillon and the result was so outstanding that he even received a bonus payment for it. Sarton, Hubert Liège, November 3, 1748 ?? Liège, October 18, 1828 Around 1772, Hubert-Dieudonné Sarton became a pupil of Pierre Le Roy. Sarton subsequently settled in Liège, where he died at the age of 80. In the late 1770’s, he made a trip to Le Locle, where he was able to examine self-winding watches made by Abraham-Louis Perrelet. Afterwards, upon his return to Paris, he filed a document with the Paris Académie royal des Sciences, dated December 23, 1778. It concerned self-winding watches with fusee and chain and verge escapement. In 1782, Sarton published a text entitled “Description de plusieurs pièces d'horlogerie”. Hubert Sarton made clocks with carillons, regulator escapements with compensation, and clocks with decimal indications.