Only Online Auction

Geneva, Apr 07, 2021

LOT 240

Precision counter-clock; “Exact Time”; brass and mahogany

CHF 1,000 - 2,000

EUR 950 - 1,850 / USD 1,100 - 2,200 / HKD 8,400 - 16,800

Sold: CHF 2,375

Brass, open-face, keyless-winding, rectangular-shaped, precision counter-clock with screwed bezel, mounted in a three-body hinged mahogany box; silver colour dial with subsidiary seconds at 9 and one horological complication:
· 40-hour power-reserve indication (sector at 3 o’clock)

19’’’, rhodium-plated, going barrel, straight-line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensated balance with gold poising screws and blued steel hairspring with terminal curve, polished steel index-regulator with swan-neck spring and precision-regulating device for fast / slow by means of an eccentric snail.

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Grading System
Grade: AA

Very good

Case: 3


Movement: 3**


Repair required, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original

Brand Zenith, Le Locle

Model “Exact Time”

Year circa 1920

Movement No. 2 904 663

Case No. 24

Material brass and mahogany

Diameter 85.8 mm. (bezel)

Caliber 20’’’, lever escapement, 3 adjustments

Height 90 mm. (box)

Width 115 mm. (box)

Thickness 150 mm. (box)

Weight 820 gr. (approx.)

Signature dial, case and movement

Accessories steel setting-pin; box key


Deck watch, deck chronometer and precision counter-clock

A “deck watch” or “deck chronometer” is a precision timepiece used on the deck of boats for navigational purposes (point reading) to avoid disturbing the proper functioning of the marine chronometer, which remains in a specific area of the ship (chronometers room or captain’s cabin).

The movements of these large timepieces had to be extremely precise and were built since 1905 sometime with Guillaume balances and hair-springs with terminal curve (Breguet-type). Very often these movements are submitted to the tests of astronomical observatories and can obtain a Bulletin de marche.

Some manufactories also used these same movements, intended for civilian use, to be fitted into table clocks enabling the brand’s retailers to have a precision timekeeper that would allow them to monitor the proper functioning of the watches they sold in their boutiques.

These clocks are occasionally referred to as “horloge de comptoir” or “counter-clock” and may be labelled “Heure Exacte” (Exact Time).

All these timepieces can be equipped with a subsidiary or central seconds hand and can have a power reserve indicator. They are much more rarely found with a regulator-type dial. They can be housed in silver, stainless steel or chromed metal cases or incorporated into mahogany boxes.


Eder, Norbert, Beobachtungsuhren, Deck Watches und Chronomètres de bord, Munich, Callwey Verlag, 1987 (216 pp.).


The purchase price payable by a buyer will be the sum of the final bid price plus the buyer’s premium, together with any applicable sales or compensating use tax. In addition to the hammer price, the buyer’s premium is payable as follows: 25% of the hammer price on each lot.

Important notice – Special conditions Please look carefully at all the photos as they are an integral part of the description. Any defect not mentioned in the descriptions but visible on the photos will be considered as described and cannot lead to any claim. The dimensions are given as an indication and may slightly differ from the measures mentioned by the manufacturers especially for contemporary watches. The photos are not retouched. Colors may differ from reality. For timepieces, we guarantee neither the functioning nor the precision of the movement, nor the water-resistance of the case. In addition, please note that movements, parts of mechanisms or cases may be incomplete. The lots are sold “as is”, described to the best of our knowledge and cannot be returned. Once the online bid is placed by the bidder, it cannot be cancelled.