Important Collectors' Wristwatches, P...

Geneva, May 08, 2010

LOT 500

Attributed to Victorin Piguet, Grande & Petite Sonnerie Tourbillon Clockwatch Attributed to Victorin Piguet, Swiss, No. 55814, the tourbillon carriage by Albert Pellaton-Favre. Made for Tchétounoff Frères, Moscow, circa 1900. Exceptionally rare and very important, 18K yellow gold, keyless two-train grande and petite sonnerie clockwatch with trip minuterepeating and one-minute tourbillon.

CHF 300,000 - 400,000

USD 285,000 - 380,000 / EUR 210,000 - 280,000

Sold: CHF 366,000

C. Three-body, solid, bassine, polished, glazed on both sides, switch bolt at 3 for grande/ petite sonnerie selection and at 10 for strike/ silent. D. White enamel, radial Roman numerals, outer minute divisions, subsidiary sunk seconds. Blued steel spade hands. M. 45 mm. (20'''), rhodium-plated, fausses cotes decoration, 27 jewels, lateral calibrated lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance with Breguet balance spring set on 3-arm equidistant Pellaton carriage, two barrels with Mairet tandem winding, Henri Golay striking mechanism, repeating on gongs by tripping a small gold slide on the band at 4. Dial and movement signed Tchétounoff Freres. Diam. 57 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2

Very good

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original


Tourbillon regulators fitted to clockwatch movements are exceptionally rare, only a very few highly important watches such as the Patek Philippe Caliber 89 have these complications together. Another watch by Patek Philippe with a Victorin Piguet ebauche with trip minute-repeating and tourbillon which is very similar to the present watch is the famous "Packard" watch, ordered from Patek Philippe by James Ward Packard, the automobile manufacturer. R. Meiss confirms that he movement was made by Victorin Piguet and the carriage by James Pellaton see "Le Tourbillon", p. 177. Also attributable to Victorin Piguet, the present watch incorporates a grande et petite sonnerie clockwatch and minute repeating. It implements Henri Golay's 1859 invention for striking watches with a minute-repeating mechanism, and in addition employs the tandem winding invented by Sylvain Mairet. The carriage was made by Albert Pellaton- Favre and his son James. Thus, this watch was made by two of the greatest in their fields at the time. Victorin Piguet was the leading maker of complicated movements, the Pellatons were the leading makers of tourbillon carriages
Victorin Piguet 1850-1937 Founded his firm"V. Piguet et Frères" in Geneva in 1880, and returned to his native Vallée de Joux three years later. He specialized in highly complicated horological pieces. In 1920, Victorin's sons Jean and Paul Piguet continued the firm under the name "Les Fils de Victorin Piguet". The company specialized in all the complications of the time: minute repeating, grande sonnerie, chronographs and split-seconds chronographs, watches with date, moon phases, sunrise and setting, equation of time, alarm, and sidereal time watches.
Nikolaij Nicholas and Pawel Paul Tchétounoff Had a business in Moscow recorded in 1851-52 at Isterijskij Perelok, they joined Tissot in Le Locle in 1888 to make high quality watches for the Russian nobility. Some of their watches have an inscription referring to a branch in Le Locle which must refer to their association with Tissot. A clock by Tchetounoff was recorded in the Winter Palace in Moscow.
Albert Pellaton-Favre 1832-1914 A native of Le Locle, he was a fine constructor of tourbillons. Born Frederick Albert Pellaton, he used the name of Albert Pellaton-Favre, adjoining his wife's name to his own, as was the custom. Pellaton-Favre is known as one of the principal constructors of tourbillon chronometer watches of the 19th century, having made over 80 of them. In 1905 he was awarded the first prize in the First Class for pocket watches at the euchâtel Observatory. He is said to have executed the tourbillon work and scapements for the Paul Ditisheim chronometer which took first place in the Kew Observatory contests of 1903, as well as some for Nardin, and one for Golay Fils and Stahl, a chronometer with tourbillon, which won second prize at the 1907 Chronometric contest. The clockmaking dynasty founded by Albert Pellaton- Favre lasted another generation, through his son James Casar Pellaton. Literature :"Montres et Horlogers exceptionnels de la Vallée de Joux", by Daniel Aubert, Editions Antoine Simonin, Neuchâtel, 1993.