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Details & Cataloguing

Masterworks of Time: Adolf Lange, The Golden Era of Glashütte

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Geneva

Swiss
A RARE AND EARLY GOLD SINGLE CASED PERPETUELLE WATCH WITH POLYCHROME ENAMEL PAINTED DIAL AND CENTRE SECONDS CIRCA 1785
Movement: gilded full plate, round 'bob'-form perpetuelle weight mounted to the backplate with banking springs to each side, cylinder escapement, standing barrel, gilt dust ring, unsigned
Dial: polychrome enamel painted dial depicting a young gentleman and a lady in a landscape setting, the man playing a lute, the lady holding a musical score, arc for regulation above, subsidiary dial beneath with Roman numerals and outer Arabic minute ring, the dial edge with Arabic numeral track for the centre seconds
Case: gold single case, polished finish with fine ribbing to bezel edges
diameter 52mm
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Catalogue Note

In their book, The History of the Self-Winding Watch, Alfred Chapuis and Eugène Jaquet (revised English edition, 1956, pp.189-190) illustrate a very similar watch to the present lot. Chapuis and Jaquet state that the watch in their book has no mark, signature or number yet note that on the barrel it is engraved "Moyse Gevril, fils". The authors note that the Gevril watch was probably made in Le Locle, Switzerland, they further detail that the mainspring of the watch is engraved "D. L. 9 c 14 Janvier 1781" which would place it within the earliest period of the production of such self-winding watches and certainly not much later in date than those of Breguet and Recordon. The authors note that when Recordon was granted his letters patent for his self-winding watches, "several watchmakers in the Neuchâtel Jura district were already producing self-winders, following the example by Abraham-Louis Perrelet...however...apart from Jonas Perret-Jeanneret of Le Locle, one other only, Moyse Gevril, is known so far" (see op. cit. p.169).

The dial of the present lot, both in the style and manner of its enamel painted scene and the layout of its subsidiary time dial and regulation arc are very similar to the example illustrated by Chapuis and Jaquet; the present movement's backplate, the perpetuelle weight and its mount may also be closely compared to that of the aforementioned watch.  A further very similar watch was sold at Antiquorum Geneva, 20 October 1991, lot 305.

Masterworks of Time: Adolf Lange, The Golden Era of Glashütte

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Geneva