Geneva, May 15, 2023

LOT 253


CHF 5,000 - 10,000

EUR 5,100 - 10,200 / USD 5,700 - 11,300 / HKD 44,200 - 89,000

Sold: CHF 17,500

Fine and rare 18K. gold keyless pocket chronometer, Guillaume balance, with chronograph, medical tachometer and 30 minute instantaneous recorder, with First Class Certificate from the Observatory of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) and classed as first from 321 watches tested at Kew Observatory.
Enamel dial with tachometric scale calculated for 30 pulses.

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Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3-8


Slightly scratched

Movement: 3-6*


Slightly oxidized

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Brand Paul Ditisheim, Switzerland

Year Circa 1920

Case No. 51199

Material 18K yellow gold

Diameter 54 mm.

Caliber 20"', nickeled, 23 jewels, straight line lever escapement, Guillaume balance, balance spring with terminal curve. Chronograph with visible work, push-button on the winding crown and boit in the band.

Signature Dial, case, movement numbered


The saine model is illustrated in the Ditisheim catalogue for the Swiss National Exhibition of 1914, p. 26, Cl. 42 and priced at 1050 Francs.

Ditisheim, Paul
La Chaux-de-Fonds, October 28, 1868 – Geneva, February 7, 1945
After early training in Switzerland, he studied in Berlin and Paris, arriving in England in 1891, where he worked as a technician at the Rotherham factory in Coventry. He started his own manufacture at La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1892, specialising in very high precision watches and jewelled watches. Success in both spheres followed rapidly, and he won many honours for adjusted watches, especially at the Neuchâtel and Kew Observatories.
He designed and patented his own compensation balance (Swiss invention patent No. 98 234), developed a new oil with remarkable stability, and was known for his superior skills in adjusting, skills that won him many prizes and honours.
He collaborated with Dr. Ch. E. Guillaume (1861-1938) in the use of both the Guillaume “integral” balance and the Elinvar-type of auto-compensating balance spring. He also contributed many papers to scientific and horological journals, and was associated with Dr. Paul Woog, an oil chemist, in the development of Chronax oils.

Guillaume balance

The Guillaume balance is a compensated bimetallic balance, made of anibal (an alloy of steel and nickel) and brass, after the works of Dr. Charles-Edouard Guillaume (1861-1938), with which the middle-temperature error is practically eliminated. The middle- temperature error (or Dent’s anomaly), is the difference between the rate of a chronometer at the mean temperature and the average of the rates at extreme temperatures. This type of balance was used by the horological manufactories since 1904.