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Important Watches, Collector's Wristw...

The Ritz-carlton Hotel, Hong-kong, June 08, 2002

LOT 32

Paul Ditisheim, "Solvil", No. 715591, circa 1935.Fine and rare blued steel keyless pocket watch with 56-hour winding indicator and patented affix balance.

C. Four-body, "bassine", polished, blued steel hinged cuvette. D. Matte and silvered, Roman numerals, outer minute ring, subsidiary sunk seconds, up-and-down indicator at 12 o'clock. M. 41 mm. (18'''), frosted gilt, 18 jewels, 5 adjustments, straight line lever escapement, monometallic balance with two bimetallic affixes with the steel lamina on the outside, self-compensating Elinvar balance spring with outer terminal curve, differential winding system, patented rack and pinion "star" micrometriregulator.Signed on dial, case and movement.Diam. 51 mm.

C. Four-body, "bassine", polished, blued steel hinged cuvette.

HKD 9,400 - 13,500

EUR 1,400 - 2,000 / USD 1,200 - 1,700

Sold: HKD 20,700

Grading System
Grade: A


Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3 - 5 - 6 - 01


In 1911, Dr. C. E. Guillaume patented a nickel-steel alloy, Elinvar, whose elasticity remains practically unchanged with temperature changes, which eliminated the need for bimetallic compensation balances. However, the process of making rather complicated Elinvar springs was not uniform, and the springs did not always have the same thermal properties, leading to small variations in performance. To eliminate those variations and to enable temperature compensation even for small amounts, Paul Ditiheim designed and patented small bimetallic straps affixed to monometallic balances. Watches equipped with them are today very rare. Solvil was founded in early 1920 to exploit Ditisheim's invention, which offered an alternative to precision watches fitted with the more expensive Guillaume balances.A virtually identical watch is in the British Museum, illustrated in their Catalogue of Chronometers by Anthony G. Randall and Richard Good, plates 106 and 107.