Click to full view


Geneva, Hotel Des Bergues, Apr 14, 1991


A Monsieur de Castellane "Perpétuelle" watch No.26, sold on 27 February 1792, for the sum of 3300 Francs. Gold self-winding watch, with "à toc" quarterrepeating and winding indicator, constructed on the principals of the "garde-temps".

Case: 20 ct., polished, two body, by Mermillod, typical of the first series of perpétuelle watches.
Dial: White enamel, by Droz, signed: "Breguet", with Breguet numerals, five-minute divisions marked by fleur de lys, the minutes by small stars, subsidiary seconds and a sector for the up-anddown scale calibrated to 60 hours. Blued-steel Breguet hands.
Movement: Gilt brass, 19.5"', signed on the edge of the dial plate: "Inventé par Breguet à Paris, No. 26", full plate caliber, the back relieved for the escapement, two barrels wound automatically by an oscillating platinum weight of ogival form and pivoted on the edge of the back plate. The weight locked by a rising pawl when fully wound, the arc limiting spring fitted to the edge of the case. Fivewheel train, unjewelled, with an intermediate wheel to provide a 60 hour going period. Experimental lateral lever escapement, without draw, with gold lever, steel pallets with enclosed pallet jewels, and double roller with integral arc limiting slots, additional banking pins mounted on the watch plate. Arnold type two-arm bimetallic compensation balance with the adjusting weights threaded onto the ends of the rim. Blued-steel flat balance spring with micrometer regulator adjustable through the edge of the dial plate. The seconds hand can be unclutched at-will for exact time setting by means of a push-pin through the edge of the dial plate. Dumb repeating on the case with a single hammer by depressing the pendant.
In very good condition. Diam. 53 mm.

CHF 400,000 - 500,000

Sold: CHF 336,250


Note: Breguet completed approximately 15 of the first series of perpétuelle watches before he left for Switzerland in 1793, and most incorporated his improved version of the lever escapement with jewelled pallets but without draw. This particular watch a spears to have an experimental escapement unlike any other. For further information refer to the previous lot.
LOUIS ANDRÉ BONIFACE Comte de Castellane (1758-1837) Louis André Boniface, Comte de Castellane - Novejean, was born on 4th August 1758. Politician and French General, his family was amongst the largest and most important of the nobility in Provence and included the Marquis d'Entrecasteaux, the Comte d'Achémar and the Comte de Grignan. A deputy from the nobility at the Assemblée Constituante in 1789, he joined the Tiers Etat in voting for religious freedom, fought for the Declaration of Human Rights, and supported the call for the abolition of the State Prisons. Thrown into prison during the Terror, he disappeared from the political scene for several years. Reinstated under Napoleon, he was appointed Governor of the Lower Pyrénées in 1802, and later in August 1815 named Pair de France. The Count died in 1837.