Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Geneva, Jun 28, 2020

LOT 95

JUST & SON

Key-winding pocket watch, special escapement, centre-seconds, made for the Chinese market; gilded metal, enamel and pearls. Very fine and rare gilded metal, enamel and pearl-set, open-face, key-winding, round-shaped, pocket watch, with centre-seconds, made for the Chinese market. Case-back with polychrome painting on enamel, by an unidentified workshop, probably Geneva, showing a bunch of multicoloured summer flowers on a royal blue flinqué enamel (translucent enamel over guilloché engine-turning); case-band engraved in taille-douce (fine-cut); bezels, pendant and bow set with half-pearls. White enamel dial with radial Roman numerals; blued steel skeleton hands and equilibrated second- hand.

Brand Just & Son, London

Model Made probably in Fleurier (Val-de-Travers) and in Geneva

Year Circa 1840-1850

Movement No. 3444

Caliber 20''', gilded brass, engraved Chinese-style with scrolled foliage, free-standing going barrel, jewelled train of wheels, English lateral lever escapement, monometallic balance (polished steel) with three arms and blued steel flat hairspring, ruby end-stone

Dimensions 55.1 mm.

CHF 6,000 - 10,000

HKD 48,000 - 80,000 / USD 6,000 - 10,000

Sold: CHF 7,500


Grading System
Grade: AA

Very good

Case: 3-77

Good

ENAMEL AND VARIOUS TYPES OF DECORATION Restored soft enamel

Movement: 3*

Good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01

Good

HANDS Original


Notes

The Chinese and the Flowers Flowers have great symbolic importance for the Chinese. By their form, aspect, and fragrance, they are considered to be highly spiritual, reflecting the profound nature of the Chinese people. Poems and proverbs show the cultural importance of flowers: "There is no flower without beauty in the world", "A flower gives us a glimpse of paradise", etc. Certain flowers have a particular significance. The lotus symbolizes purity, the chrysanthemum perseverance, the plum blossom integrity, etc. The peony, with its generous forms, brilliant colours, and heady fragrance, became the most important flower for the Chinese. It is considered to symbolize wealth, nobility, power, and happiness. Known as the "queen of flowers", the peony symbolizes wealth and distinction. Paintings of flowers are often hung in Chinese homes for good luck and in offices to bring success in business. The deep and rich symbolism the Chinese attached to flowers made them an ideal subject for expensive watches and those destined for exalted patrons, even for the Emperor himself. The symbolism of each flower would have been immediately recognized and appreciated by China's elite, who would have seen in them a flattering reference to their own wealth and power. It's extremely rare to find a watch from this period, made for the Chinese market, with a jewelled movement fitted with an English lateral lever escapement. Few other watches made by the same maker with this type of escapement are known. Just & Son, London Leonard Just was specialized in making watches for the Chinese market. He worked in London between 1790 and 1825. Upon his death, the business passed to his son, and carried on as "Just & Son", Middleton Square. Like other English watchmakers trading with China, some of their watches were made by Swiss watchmakers from the Val-de-Travers area, of which Fleurier is the biggest village.