Important Collector's, Watches, Wrist...

Geneva, Hotel Des Bergues, Oct 15, 2000

LOT 173

Paul Ditisheim, Chaux-de-Fonds, No. 46874, circa 1916.Extremely fine silver (0.935), keyless deck watch with 52-hour winding indicator in original fitted three-body mahogany box. Bulletin de Marche from the Observatoire Astronomique et Chronométrique de Neuchâtel from 1918 and another from 1920, with original bill of sale.

CHF 12,000 - 16,000

USD 6,500 - 9,000

Sold: CHF 37,950

C. Three-body, massive 'bassine et filets carrure plate', polished, fluted band, the back stamped with maker?s trademark, silver detachable cuvette. D. Matte silver with Roman numerals and outer minute ring, 52-hour up-and-down subsidiary dial, subsidiary sunk seconds. Blued-steel 'spade' hands. M. 25???, matte gilded, straight-line lever escapement, 21 jewels, anibal-brass Guillaume balance with gold temperature screws, Breguet balance spring with Phillips outer and inner terminal curves, goingtrain jeweled to the center with endstones on the entire escapement.Signed on the dial, movement and the box, stamped with Ditisheim?s trademark on the case.Diam. 65 mm.

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Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3 - 01


The watch was sold by Louis Lörtscher on April 18, 1921, for SFR 2125.The movement is inscribed: 'Paul Ditisheim La Chaux-de-Fonds, The highest Records at Kew, Teddington and Swiss Observatories'. The inscription refers to the fact that Ditisheim won over 200 prizes, both at Kew, as well as in Neuchatel. The present lot brought him first prizes in Neuchatel in 1918 and in 1920. A practically identical watch - the serial number differs from this lot by only three digits (46877) - brought him a prize at Kew in 1919 for the best in temperature compensation, and anothr (46871) won him 1st prize in 1917.Timing Contest :Mean average daily rate +/- 0,11Error of compensation +/- 0,08Mean error of positions +/- 0,47Thermal coefficient - 0,003With original extra mainspring and one extra crystal.Anibal (acier au nickel pour balanciers). An alloy invented by Dr. Charles Edouard Guillaume which exhibits peculiar properties, both in terms of thermal expansion and in changes in elasticity. Its properties are very different from those of two other famous alloys invented by Guillaume, Invar and Elinvar. At the end of 1800?s, Guillaume worked on an attempt to eliminate the so-called Middle Temperature Error, an error caused by the fact that the change of rate in a timekeeper with a steel-brassbimetallic balance is approximately a linear function of temperature, while the modifications caused by the change in elasticity of a balance spring is approximately a quadratic function. Thus, it equals zero at only two temperatures, causing secondary error. Countless attempts were made to eliminate it, usually by adjoining auxiliary compensation devices. In 1899, Guillaume noticed that steel with an addition of 44.4% nickel has a negative square coefficient of thermal expansion. This, combinedwith brass in bimetallic lamina, makes its expansion close to quadratic. Balances with bimetallic rims made of anibal and brass are usually called Guillaume balances, or, as their inventor called them, integral balances. Combined with special balance springs, they show amazing temperature stability, sometimes not exceeding 1/50 second per day per 1oC.