Geneva, May 14, 2023

LOT 73


CHF 5,000 - 10,000

EUR 5,100 - 10,200 / USD 5,700 - 11,300 / HKD 44,200 - 89,000


Sold: CHF 10,625

Very fine early silver watch with alarm, and a most unusual decoration on the case with the border of the back finely pierced and engraved with inhabited foliage.
Plain polished silver dial with engraved Roman chapters, half and quarter hour divisions, and inner revolving alarm setting disc with Arabic numerals. Blued-steel hour pointer and single hand for alarm setting.

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original

Brand Gribelin, France

Year 1675

Material Silver

Diameter 50 mm.

Caliber 17''', hinged gilt brass full plate with Egyptian pillars, fusee with gut-line, worm-andwheel set-up with blued-steel finely pierced brackets, verge escapement, plain two-arm steel balance without spring, silver oval cock with small foot, secured by a screw, and pierced and engraved with foliage. Alarm train with fixed silver barrel, pierced and engraved with foliage, steel train and blued-steel stop-work, striking on a bell.

Signature Movement


Nicolas, son of Abraham, and grandson of Simon. Born in Blois in 1637, he was received as master at faubourg Saint-Germain-des-Pres circa 1660, and in Paris on 5 June 1675. He was Garde Visiteur from 1676-1678 and 1684-1686, and Clockmaker to Monsieur le Dauphin before 1674. Established in the rue de Bussy in 1682 with Baltazar Martinot II, he organised a grand lottery of docks etc at Court in 1695, and also worked with l'Abbé Hauteville with a view to producing 8-day watches. He died in 1719.
The theme chosen to decorate the pierced border of the case is apparently unknown on French watches, and somewhat bizarre, instead of the usual animals and birds, either of the mythological or hunting variety, all are creatures associated with the night, or indeed witchcraft. They include: a monkey, a rat, a raves, a bat with spread wings (at 6 o'clock), a snail and a mouse, with a lion's mask beneath the pendant. The interspersed foliage is typical for the period, but as no other comparable case is apparently known, the origin of the design cannot he ascertained. The influence is very possibly German. For the fixed alarm barrel to be in pierced silver is also unusual.