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Important Wristwatches, Watches & Clocks

Geneva, Hotel Des Bergues, October 17, 1992

LOT 433

Anonymous, French, late XVlllth century, early XIXth. Extremely rare, 18 ct. gold, oval, crystal and diamond set ring watch with a special escapement, lateral winding and hand setting.

C. Oval, with hinged diamond set bezel, winding hole shutter on the edge. split shoulders on the chunk. D. rock crystal, internally engraved with Arabic numerals and outer gilt scrolled decoration. Blued steel spade hands. M. GiIt brass, Lepine caliber with free standing barrel and wolf tooth train of wheel,15 sapphire jewels star wheel lateral lever escapement, plain gold three armed balance. In very good condition. Dim. 20 x 16 mm.

C. Oval, with hinged diamond set bezel, winding hole shutter on the edge. split shoulders on the chunk.
D. rock crystal, internally engraved with Arabic numerals and outer gilt scrolled decoration. Blued steel spade hands.
M. GiIt brass, Lepine caliber with free standing barrel and wolf tooth train of wheel,15 sapphire jewels star wheel lateral lever escapement, plain gold three armed balance. In very good condition. Dim. 20 x 16 mm.

CHF 20,000 - 25,000

Sold: CHF 20,700



Notes

Such a combination of highly unusual technical features is hardly to be found on a so small movement. The only other references known are the miniature watches, made by Breguet toward 1830, to be set on rings. This example appears to be much earlier, being set with a Lepine type caliber with Wolf tooth train (another technique invented by Lepine to improve the gearing). This early type of lever escapement is exceedingly rare. and reveals a very early period. Another extraordinary feature is the use of 15 Jewels, a number that does not appear to have been surpassed until the arrivai of the miniature wristwatch in the XX th century. The worm screw system for both winding and hand setting is not only ingenious, but also practical. Only two names, spring to mind for the making of such a watch: Lepine and Breguet. See details of movement on the next page.