Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Hong Kong, Mar 19, 2016

LOT 83

ILBERY BOUQUET OF SUMMER FLOWERS ENAMEL AND 18K GOLD Ilbery, London, No. 6407. Made for the Chinese market, circa 1835. Very fine and rare, 18K gold and painted on enamel, pearl-set, center-seconds pocket watch with duplex escapement. Accompanied by a hardstone winding key.

HKD 400,000 - 600,000

USD 50,000 - 70,000 / CHF 50,000 - 70,000

Sold: HKD 700,000

Two-body, "Chinese", the back finely painted on enamel with a bouquet of summer flowers on a translucent red enamel over sunray engine-turning, half-pearl set bezels, pendant and bow, spring-loaded glazed cuvette mounted on the movement ring. White enamel, radial Roman numerals, outer minute and seconds divisions with fifteen-minute/seconds Arabic numerals. Pink spade hands. 45 mm. gilt brass fully engraved "Chinese" caliber, 12 jewels, free-standing barrel, ruby duplex escapement, three-arm, uncut-bimetallic balance with flat balance spring, diamond endstone, index regulator. Movement signed.

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Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-8-01

Very good

Slightly scratched

HANDS Original


DIAM. 59 mm. WILLIAM ILBERY (?-1839) Active in London from 1780. Following JAMES COX in London and JAQUET DROZ in Switzerland, he specialized in luxury watches made for the Chinese market. His early production was in the English style, with a full plate movement and an English type single wheel duplex escapement; however for his highest quality watches he incorporated a spring detent escapement. The cases were in the style of those made in England at the time. Later, his watch movements were much inspired by the Lepine caliber with freestanding barrel, as were those of Jaquet Droz's Swiss production signed in London and that of WILLIAM ANTHONY, who worked in London. He set a new standard for watches made for the Asian market. He had profusely engraved movements made in Switzerland, mainly in Fleurier, being followed in this by makers such as Bovet and Juvet. Bovet and Juvet organized the mass production of silver-cased watches and later, once their Canton manufactures were opened, assembled them in China. Ilbery can therefore be considered the "father" of "Chinese" watches as they are known today. Ilbery's watch cases were decorated by Geneva's best enamelers, such as JEAN-FRANCOIS-VICTOR DUPONT and JEAN- LOUIS RICHTER. He seems to have maintained close contacts with the continental trade, since a watch signed "Ilbery Paris" is known and Ilbery & Son are recorded in London and Fleurier, as well as in Canton. This presentation is from SANDBERG COLLECTION.