ALBERT H. POTTER & CO., GENEVA [Albert H. Potter & Co.，日內瓦] | AN IMPORTANT AND POSSIBLY UNIQUE GOLD OPEN-FACED KEYLESS WATCH WITH UNUSUAL LEVER ESCAPEMENT AND SINGLE RUBY-TOOTH ESCAPE WHEEL, AND REGULATOR DIAL CIRCA 1887, NO. 1 [罕有黃金懷錶備罕有槓桿式擒縱系統、紅寶石單鉤擒縱齒輪及三針一線錶盤，年份約1887，編號1，可能為孤例]
ALBERT H. POTTER & CO., GENEVA
[Albert H. Potter & Co.，日內瓦]
AN IMPORTANT AND POSSIBLY UNIQUE GOLD OPEN-FACED KEYLESS WATCH WITH UNUSUAL LEVER ESCAPEMENT AND SINGLE RUBY-TOOTH ESCAPE WHEEL, AND REGULATOR DIAL
CIRCA 1887, NO. 1
• Movement: unusual v-shaped central bridge with pearled machined decoration and screwed gold chaton jewels, similarly decorated s-shaped balance cock with index regulator, lever escapement, the patented escape wheel with single ruby-tooth, bi-metallic compensation balance, going barrel with Maltese-cross stop work, signed Albert Potter & Co., Geneva, No. 1 in his trademark logo
• Dial: white enamel regulator-type, outer Arabic minute ring, two subsidiary dials for hours with Roman numerals and seconds with Arabic numerals, signed Albert H. Potter & Co., Geneva
• Case: 18ct gold, plain polished band and case back, rounded bezels, hands set by folding the bow forwards to the case, centre of the inside case back stamped Albert H. Potter & Co.
To view shipping calculator, please click here
Movement: running at time of cataloguing. Surfaces and screw-heads generally in appear in good condition. Some signs of dirt and a few small scuffs. May benefit from a service.
Dial: with a few very light scratches, slight chipping at the very edge of the dial just to the left of the 5 minute marker but this is largely concealed by the bezel.
Case: signs of light polishing, the bow with some wear to inner edge at its peak.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot (for example, the online condition report may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome). Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's). Please also note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and wrist bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species. Please be advised that wristbands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS (ONLINE ONLY).
Theodor Beyer Collection, Zurich
Antiquorum Zurich, The Private Collection of Theodor Beyer, 16 November 2003, lot 98
The present lot exemplifies Potter at his most ingenious and, to the best of our knowledge, may be a truly unique piece. Potter had built a reputation for himself after patenting a new design for a lever escapement and a pivoted detent escapement. Following his move to Switzerland in 1875, he sought to improve upon those designs, thus resulting in the present piece in 1887.
Most likely a prototype, this watch embodies Potter's desire to create a high quality affordable piece easy to clean, read, and set. Potter designed the pillar plate to incorporate the band that the bezel and back snap into, thus eliminating the need for another case band. He arranged the train of this piece in a straight line, so it requires only one bridge. Most interestingly, this piece showcases Potter's patented single-tooth lever escapement, made from just a ruby pin set on a steel plate set to the pinion. He patented this design on 5 April 1887.
Potter made the back plate of the movement an integral part of the case so that the case body and back plate could be stamped by sheet block with one blow, with no need for machinery.