Fasoldt called his escapement a chronometer, but in fact it was a lever escapement with two escape wheels, the smaller one giving impulse in one direction and the larger one in the other direction.
Charles Fasoldt, a brilliant horologist, was granted several patents during his career and the precision engineering and features seen on many of his clocks have not been surpassed in America. Born in Dresden, Germany in 1818, he fled to America in 1848, following civil strife in his native country.
He settled in Rome, New York, where he is known to have made approximately 50 watches. In 1861, he relocated to Albany, New York and founded a watchmaking factory where he employed 50 men. He also utilized the help of family members. His daughter made jewels, patent regulators and patent hairsprings, while he made the wheels and arbor plates. The majority of his watches were key wound until the end of his career when he made 150 stem-wind watches, as with the present lot. However, the new stem-wind watches were still key-set.
In all, it is thought that he made 600 watches.
For an illustration of the Fasoldt double wheel chronometer escapement see Clutton & Daniels, Watches, fig. 46.