Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Hong Kong, Oct 27, 2019

LOT 423


HKD 240,000 - 310,000

CHF 29,800 - 39,000 / USD 30,000 - 40,000

The watch of Gregorio Luperón (1839-1897), 20th President of the Dominican Republic. 18K yellow gold, double-faced hunting-case, keyless-winding, round-shaped, pocket watch, with subsidiary seconds at 6, patented winding- mechanism by closing the cover and six horological complications: • Five minute-repeater on two steel gongs (activated by the slide at 6 o’clock) The first dial features: • Hours and minutes (not considered as a horological complication) The second dial features: • Perpetual calendar • Date of the month (exterior graduation with central hand) • Day of the week (subsidiary dial at 9 o’clock; indications given in French) • Month of the year (subsidiary dial at 3 o’clock; indications given in French) • Age and phases of the moon (subsidiary dial, graduated from 0 to 29 1/2, and aperture at 12 o’clock) Winding-mechanism based on the French invention patent No. 77 124, delivered on July 13, 1867, to Benjamin Haas Jeune, Paris, for a “Système de remontoir applicable à tous genres d’échappements – Montre savonnette se remontant en regardant l’heure”, later so-called “Remontoir perpétuel à décrochement”, and, the French additional invention patent dated August 3, 1869, and the English invention patent No. 3 945, delivered on December 2, 1873 (Winding-mechanism, keyless mechanism). Perpetual calendar mechanism based on the English invention patent No. 2 870, delivered on September 30, 1872, to Benjamin Haas Jeune, Paris (Calendar mechanism). Cover and case-back engraved in taille-douce (fine cut) with stylized geometric patterns; the cover engraved and black and blue enamelled with the cypher “L G” of Gregorio Luperón (1839-1897), 20th President of the Dominican Republic; the back engraved with the coat-of-arms of Dominican Republic and the country’s motto “Dios, Patria, Libertad” (God, Homeland, Freedom).

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3


Movement: 3**


Repair required, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-71-01-04



HANDS Original


Brand Maison B.Haas Jeune, Geneva and Paris

Model Montre perpétuelle se remontant en regardant l’heure, Nouveau système Breveté

Year Circa 1880

Movement No. 15 043

Calibre  19’’’, lever escapement

Case No. 15 043

Diameter 53.4 mm

Signature Dial, case and movement

Accessories Copies of the invention patents


According to the previous owner, the watch was given as a gift for the safe delivery of President’s first daughter, from the President to Dr. Felipe B. Cordero Y Escalona (1870-1922), President personal family practitioner.

Luperón, Gregorio (September 8, 1839 – May 21, 1897)
Afro-Dominican leading soldier and patriot, military general and statesman who was one of the leaders in the restoration of the Dominican Republic after the Spanish annexation in 1863. He was Vice President (January 24, 1865 – March 24, 1865) and 20th President of the Dominican Republic (December 6, 1879 – September 1st, 1880).
In the early 1880’s, he served as a diplomat in Paris, representing the democratically elected government of his successor, Father Fernando Arturo de Meriño (1833-1906). He remains one of the greatest heroic figure of his country.
Benjamin Haas patented winding-mechanism by closing the cover, “remontoir perpétuel à décrochement”
In 1867, Benjamin Haas patented an interesting winding mechanism by closing the cover, which transmits the power via two levers to a ratchet wheel on the barrel arbour with a safety device disengaging the mechanism when fully wound. The design was quite successful, and Haas employed it in some of his best watches, mostly with horological complications.
The initial idea was progressively improved, and the one employed in the 1890’s is a well-developed system with a 36-hour power reserve generated by only twelve closings. To accomplish this, Haas changed the going train, adding an additional wheel, which allowed him three hours winding by a single closing. He also designed a safety device disengaging the mechanism when fully wound, which was necessary to prevent damage to the cover.
Among the twenty or so known pieces with “remontoir perpétuel à décrochement”, the present watch is one of the four most complicated known today from this series. The three others are:
• No. 13 760, made circa 1875, with minute-repeater, perpetual calendar with moon phases and two-time zone (double-faced).

Antiquorum, Hong Kong, auction, April 28, 2018, lot 504, for the amount of HK$ 525 000.- (~ CHF 67 000.-).
• No. 15 722, made circa 1880, with minute-repeater, retrograde perpetual calendar with leap-year indicator and moon phases (not double-faced).
Etude Millon, Paris, Drouot Richelieu, December 6, 2011, lot 207, sold for the amount of € 41 000.-
• No. 15 849, made circa 1880, with minute-repeater, perpetual calendar with leap-year indicator and moon phases (not double-faced).
Antiquorum, Geneva, auction, November 13, 2011, lot 494, for the amount of CHF 56 250.-

The house founded in Geneva in 1848 by the brothers Léopold Haas (1827-1915) and Benjamin Haas (1828-1925), later becoming “Ancienne Maison B. Haas Jeune”, then “Haas Neveux & Co.”, is one of the oldest Swiss watch manufacturers.
The Haas signature has always been one of the most sought after, thanks to the impeccable standards of the company. Haas gained a reputation as a manufacturer of fine chronometers, chronographs, and highly complicated watches. Among their most notable creations was the “remontoir perpétuel à décrochement” (1867 and 1873), a perpetual calendar (1872) and later the first ultra-thin watch movement (circa 1896).