The Private Collection of Theodor Beyer

Hotel Baur Au Lac, Zurich, Nov 16, 2003

LOT 14

J. Regnier a Paris, circa 1620. Very fine and rare octagonal rock crystal pre-balance spring, single-hand pendant watch.

CHF 20,000 - 30,000

EUR 13,000 - 20,000 / USD 15,000 - 22,000

Sold: CHF 19,550

C. Two-body, the back carved from a single piece of crystal, faceted on the outside, mounted in a gilt frame engraved on the edge with repeated pattern, faceted rock crystal top mounted in en suite bezel, tulip pendant with loose ring, small finial. D. Oval, gilt brass, Roman numerals, half-hour dot markers, center engraved with a view of a village, outer engraved with scrolling, two rabbits, and a mask. Blued steel "arrowhead" hand. M. oval, 33 x 24 mm, full plate, baluster pillars, fusee and gut, 3-wheel short train, verge escapement, circular bronze foliot, irregular cock secured by a screw, ratchet wheel set-up.Signed on the back plate.Dim. 60 x 33 mm.

Click to full view

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3-21



Movement: 3-22*


Later original

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original


A similar watch, although unsigned and with a less elaborate dial, was in the Prince Soltykoff collection, illustrated as Fig. XIX of his catalogue. Watches in rock crystal cases began to be made around the middle of the 16th century; the fashion lasted for about a hundred years. They were made in France, Germany, England, and also in Geneva. The French lapdiaries, in Blois, Paris, Strasburg, and Lyon, were particularly skillful. It seems, however, that the Genevan lapidaries were especially renowned for their work in rock crystal. For instance, in 1623, Pierre Lourteau, a master watchmaker living in Lyon, ordered three rock crystal cases from Paul Tillier, a lapidary in Geneva. Jean Regnier. He became a Master in 1615. Between 1620 and 1623 he became valet de chambre and Horloger de la Reyne.