Only Online Auction

Hong Kong, Mar 03, 2021

LOT 69

H. Barbezat-Bôle by Constant Piguet
Pocket watch, carillon minute-repeater, four hammers on four gongs; 18K pink gold

HKD 302,000 - 388,000

CHF 35,000 - 45,000 / EUR 32,400 - 41,600 / USD 38,900 - 51,000

18K pink gold, hunting-case, keyless-winding, round-shaped, large pocket watch, with subsidiary seconds at 6 and one horological complication:
· Minute-repeater on four steel gongs by four hammers (activated by the slide at 6 o’clock)

Cover engraved in taille-douce with the cypher “A B”; cuvette engraved with the mention “Souvenir affectueux et reconnaissant de Paul Meille, Turin 25 décembre 1901”.

Movement 20’’’, gilded brass (ebauche by LeCoultre & Cie, Le Sentier, Vallée de Joux), going barrel,gold screwed-chaton (setting) on the central wheel, straight-line equilibrated lever escapement, compensated balance and blued steel hairspring with terminal curve, polished steel index-regulator.

Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: 3 *
Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original

Brand H. Barbezat-Bôle, Le Locle

Model made by Constant Piguet, Le Sentier (Vallée de Joux) and Le Locle

Year circa 1900

Movement No. 3 104 / 6 529

Case No. 3 085

Material 18K pink gold

Diameter 54 mm.

Caliber 20’’’, straight-line equilibrated lever escapement

Weight 117 gr. (approx.)

Signature cuvette (dome)

Accessories copy of the invention patent


Movement based on the Swiss invention patent No. 11 948, delivered on March 20, 1896, to Constant Piguet, Le Sentier (Vallée de Joux), for a “Montre à répétition-carillon à quatre marteaux” (Repeater-watch with four-hammer chime).


Meille, Paul (1851-1902)

Paul Meille is a Swiss banker and philanthropist, a member of the Waldensians and one of the founders of the Société d’Histoire Vaudoise.

Born in Turin, he is the son of Pastor Giovanni Pietro Meille (1817-1887) and Jeanne-Marie-Sylvie Ruchet, originally from Switzerland. In 1880, he married Emilie-Madeleine Gaufrès (1858-1928), a French woman; the couple had four children.

After inheriting a fortune in 1879, he devoted large sums of money to charitable works, mainly for the Waldensians and other social structures. He was repeatedly elected member of the Chamber of Commerce of Turin. He was made a Knight-Commander of the Order of the Crown of Italy.

From 1897 until his death in 1902, he was Consul of the Netherlands in Turin. He died on August 13, 1902 in Affoltern (near Zurich), where he stayed for health reasons.


Piguet, Constant

Constant Piguet is the son of David-Constant Piguet (1820-?), watchmaker at the Sentier (Vallée de Joux), and Zélie-Henriette Reymond (1827-1857); both married in 1851. The couple to at least one other son: Jules-Albert Piguet (1854-1934).

David-Constant Piguet founds a watchmaking workshop in the Vallée de Joux which will be taken over by his two sons. The company is particularly renowned for its repeating watches.

Circa 1880, Jules-Albert Piguet moved the workshops to Le Locle, in the Neuchâtel mountains.

In 1881, the company receives for its products a Second Prize at the National Horological Exhibition of La Chaux-de-Fonds.

On March 20, 1896, Constant Piguet, a resident of Le Sentier, obtained a patent, No. 11 948, for his mechanism of " Montre à répétition-carillon à quatre marteaux (Repeater-watch with four-hammer chime).

To produce his watches, he uses minute repeater blanks from LeCoultre & Cie (today Jaeger-LeCoultre) of Le Sentier. Inside the factory, these drafts are referenced under the name “19-CMS No 42”. According to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Heritage Archives, only a small quantity of these drafts are delivered to Constant Piguet.

The latter to get his carillon watches on four gongs (classical or Westminster) is brought to modify the timing as shown by his patent.

Since 1888, Constant Piguet and Paul-David Nardin, from Ulysse Nardin du Locle, have collaborated on experimental studies on the use of clocks in a platinum-iridium alloy.

Circa 1907, Jules-Albert Piguet sold the company to head of workshop Charles-Emile Jeanneret-dit-Grosjean (1861-1953).

In 1922, the company was renamed Jeanneret-Grosjean Charles-Emile & Fils, “Fabricants de ressorts de répétition” (Manufacturers of gongs-springs).

Watches with carillon-chime by four hammers on four gongs are extremely rare, especially if they are of the Westminster-type. It also exists with the air of God Save the King, which was also at that time that of the Swiss national anthem.

Only two other watchmakers – Edouard Jean-Richard (1867-1944) from Le Locle, and Victorin Piguet (1850-1937) from the Vallée de Joux – have specialised in the production of this type of watch.

Barbezat-Bôle, Henri (1851-1921)

The company “H. Barbezat-Bôle S.A., Le Locle”, was founded by Henri Barbezat-Bôle (1851-1921). He was the younger brother of Charles Barbezat-Baillot (1847-1938), the founder of Le Phare, Dixi, etc.

In 1897, the company registered the “hammer” trade mark (three hammers crossed) for watches and watch parts. The company made complicated pieces.

It took over Paul Buhré, Le Locle; the corporate name became “Paul Buhré & H. Barbezat-Bôle”.

Both companies were listed circa 1920-1925. H. Barbazat-Bôle was listed in 1924 for marine chronometers, pocket chronometers, 8-day watches, plus a large ad for pocket watches and navigational chronometers, 8-day quality watches, Westminster chime repeaters, other repeaters and form-watches.

In 1923, H. Barbezat-Bôle won the International Chronometer Competition Group Prize, five individual prizes, a Series Prize and First Prize.

He made watches for the Indian market with portraits of dignitaries painted by John Graff (1836-1902) of Geneva.