Important Collectors’ Wristwatches, P...

Geneva, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Du Rhône, Nov 12, 2006

LOT 269

?Early Keyless Winding, Quarter-Repeater? Czapek & Cie, a Geneve, No. 3583. Made circa 1850. Very fine and extremely rare, quarter-repeating, 18K gold hunting-cased pocket watch with Adrien Philippe?s first patented stem-wind and hand-setting mechanism of 1845 without coasting.

CHF 17,000 - 22,000

EUR 11,000 - 14,000 / USD 14,000 - 18,000

Sold: CHF 25,960

C. Four-body, ?bassine et filet?, engine-turned and polished, flattopped winding crown. Hinged gold cuvette. D. White enamel with radial Roman numerals, outer minute track, subsidiary seconds at 9 o?clock. Blued steel ?Breguet? hands. M. 41 mm., 18???, frosted gilt, 19 jewels, wolf?s tooth winding, counterpoised straight-line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance, blued steel Breguet balance spring, index regulator, repeating on gongs activated by a slide on the band. Cuvette and movement signed. Diam. 47 mm.

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Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3-15


Slightly rusted

Movement: 2

Very good

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original


This watch was recently overhauled by Patek Philippe. The present watch uses Adrien Philippe?s first winding and hand-setting mechanism, French patent No. 1317 of April 22, 1845. The winding pinion is fixed to the winding shaft, for winding the crown must be turned clockwise and cannot be turned back with that typical ratchet noise. To disengage the winding in order to set the hands, the winding crown can be pulled out. Very few watches survive with this early winding mechanism without coasting and the present watch is particularly rare in also having quarter-repeating. Czapek & Cie. Franciszek Czapek was a Polish émigré who arrived in Switzerland in 1832 after the fall of the Polish insurrection against Russia. On May 1, 1839, Antoni Patek and François Czapek (his name having been gallicized) established a business in Geneva under the name of Patek et Czapek. The partnership lasted six years, during which some exceptional watches were produced. After the dissolution, Patek established Patek, Philippe Co. with a new partner, Adrien Philippe, and Czapek founded "Czapek et Cie", also with a new partner, Juliusz Gruzewski. Czapek?s new company did well. Gruzewski was a personal friend of Napoleon III, and Czapek quickly became watchmaker to the court of the Emperor (Unger's calendar for 1850, Warsaw, 1850). He had a factory in Geneva, a shop in Warsaw, and another in Paris. He wrote a small book about watches and watchmaking in which he announced that he was working on a larger volume, but he unfortunately died before publishing it. An interesting fact is that Czapek's early watches incorporate Philippe's patented sliding pinion winding mechanism. In his book Czapek states that in his shop he used only this design.