Lot 80
  • 80

Frederick Fatton, London

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • gold
  • diameter 58 mm
• gilt half-plate movement, cylinder escapement, gold three-arm balance, compensation curb • 18k yellow gold polished hinged cuvette • white enamel dial, subsidiary dial for 60-second chronograph, the extremity of the hand carrying nib over an ink well, above the time dial with Roman numerals, slide towards dial centre for switching off chronograph mechanism • 18k yellow gold case, engine-turned case back with London hallmarks for 1823, gold pendant and bow, stop slide to the band, pendant with push-piece to activate/drop nib • dial, movement and case signed Fatton Elève de Breguet Patent London, the dial numbered 7, case and movement numbered 8, case further stamped with case maker’s mark LC for Louis Comtesse


Sotheby's Geneva, 17th May 2000, lot 198


Terence Camerer Cuss, The English Watch 1585-1970, pp. 370-371, pl. 240

Cecil Clutton and George Daniels, Watches, Third edition, figs.233 a-b

Catalogue Note

Fredrick Louis Fatton first worked for Abraham Louis Breguet in Russia between 1801-1807.  By 1814 he was Breguet's independent agent in London.  Interestingly, Fatton is one of several men who signed their work Elève de Breguet. Fatton was the inventor of the Inking Chronograph, see George Daniels, The Art of Breguet, p. 72.  Fatton took out two patents for inking chronographs in 1822, numbers 4645 and 4707.  As noted in George Daniels, The Art of Breguet, the inking chronograph was normally made in silver, thus the present example in gold is rare.

The present lot was purchased in the 1990's from the wife of a descendant of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.   It was believed through family legend, that the watch had belonged to the famous engineer. 

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was a 19th century engineering genius, and a giant of the Industrial Revolution.  His most famous works included the Great Western Railway, Paddington Station, a series of steamships, dockyards and an early design of Clifton Bridge, England's first suspension bridge.

Brunel was sent for schooling to France, where he became aquainted with Breguet through an introduction by a cousin. At the age of 14 he lived with the Breguet family and was given tuition in the workshops, see Adrian Vaughan's biography of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 1991.  Brunel returned to England in 1822. 

Interestingly, Brunel had a second connection to watchmaking, through his mother Sophia Kingdom who was the niece of Thomas Mudge.  Sadly Brunel would never have met the famous Maker, who died more than a decade before Brunel's birth.