The Art of American Horology & Colle...

New York, Nov 28, 2001

LOT 405

Le Roy & Fils, Horlogers de la Marine, Palais Royal, 13 & 15 Galerie Montpensier, Paris, and 211 Regent St., London, No. 46511, circa 1860.Very fine and rare, 18K gold, keyless astronomical minute-repeating watch with full calendar, phases and ages of the moon, center-seconds, dead center-seconds, fifth-second jumping "diablotine" and thermometer, accompanied by a protective case.

USD 12,000 - 15,000

Sold: USD 21,850

C. four-body, "bassine et filets", polished, gold hinged cuvette. D. white enamel, Roman numerals, outer minute/seconds divisions, four subsidiary sunk dials for days of the week, date, months concentric with diablotine and phases of the moon aperture with sector for its age concentric with Reaumur thermometer scale. Gold "spade" hands. M. 43 mm, frosted gilt, 32 jewels, gold train, straight line calibrated lever escapement, cut-bimetallic compensation balance with blued steel Breguet balance-sping, repeating on gongs through a slide in the band.Cuvette signed.Diam. 54 mm.

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Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3


Movement: 3


Dial: 3-13-01


Slightly damaged

HANDS Original


This is a rare watch with an unusual set of complications. Typically, the diablotine is run from an independent train, and is only rarely employed in a single train watch, especially during this early period. The combination of center-seconds with dead center-seconds, in addition to the thermometer and full calendar and minute repeating mechanism, suggests that this watch was made on the special request of a wealthy customer.The 1860's was a decade of chronograph development. Adolphe Nicole patented the return-to-zero "heart" piece, Adrien Philippe of Patek Philippe invented the double-train, independent dead seconds return to zero mechanism (see Antiquorum, The Art of complicated and Precision Timekeeping, Geneva, November 2001, Lot. 67). Le Roy apparently also took part in the race for chronograph development.