Important Collectors’ Wristwatches, P...

Geneva, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Du Rhône, May 13, 2007

LOT 654

?Westminster Chime Carillon Minute Repeater? Paul Ditisheim, a La Chaux de Fonds, No. 47380, movement by Constant Piguet, Le Sentier, Swiss patent No. 11948. The case with London import marks for 1912 - 1913. Very fine and very rare, large, 18K gold, hunting-cased, keyless, minute-repeating pocket watch with Westminster chimes carillon.

CHF 50,000 - 70,000

EUR 30,000 - 45,000 / USD 40,000 - 57,000

C. Four-body, "bassine" polished. Hinged gold cuvette engraved with exhibition prize details. D. Three-piece, white enamel with Breguet numerals, outer minute track, subsidiary seconds. Blued steel "Breguet" hands. M. 45 mm. (20???), rhodium-plated, 32 jewels, counterpoised straight-line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance with blued steel Breguet balance spring, swan-neck micrometer regulator, repeating on four gongs with four hammers activated by a slide on the band. Dial and case signed, movement engraved with Constant Piguet's patent number and "Grand Prix Paris 1900". Diam. 57 mm. Property of a Ukrainian Collector

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Grading System
Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2

Very good

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original


The present lot is in extremely good condition and has a particularly high quality finish. The movement is unusual in that it is rhodium-plated and not frosted gilt. Carillon minute repeating watches are very rare; only a few are known with four hammers or Westminster chimes. On March 20, 1896, Constant Piguet patented this system of minute-repeat with carillon, under the No. 11948 .The makers that specialized in this type of watch were Constant Piguet, Eduard JeanRichard, and Victorin Piguet. The known tunes played by four hammer carillons are: Westminster chimes, the Swiss National anthem, and God Save the King. A watch playing God Save the King was sold by Antiquorum, Geneva, on November 11, 2006, lot 53. Similar watches were sold by Antiquorum, Exceptional Horological Works of Art, Geneva, October 19, 2002, lot 8; and Important Collectors? Wristwatches, Pocket Watches and Clocks, Hong Kong, July 10, 2005, lot 83; Important Collectors? Wristwatches, Pocket Watches and Clocks, Geneva, May 14, 2006, lot 783 and October 15, 2006, lot Paul Ditisheim (detail of the movement with four hammers and four gongs)

Paul Ditisheim (1868-1945) Started his own manufacture at Chaux-de-Fonds in 1892, specializing in very high precision watches and jeweled watches. Success in both spheres followed rapidly, and he won many honors. He collaborated with Dr. Ch. E. Guillaume in the use of both the Guillaume "integral" balance and the elinvar-type of auto-compensating balance spring. He also contributed many papers to scientific and horological journals.

Constant Piguet In 1896 Constant Piguet is listed as being a gong maker in Le Sentier in the canton of Vaud, making carillon repeating watches with four hammers. On March 20, 1896, Constant Piguet patented this system of minute-repeat with carillon, under the Swiss patent No. 11948. These watches are those for which he is best known today and bear his patent number on the movement. Literature: Journal Suisse D'Horlogerie, 1896-97, p. 325.