BREGUET ET FILS [寶璣] | A FINE AND UNUSUAL GOLD RUBY CYLINDER WATCH WITH DATE AND SHORT CHAIN NO. 2348, 'MONTRE SIMPLE' SOLD TO SON ALTESSE ROYALE LE DUC DE CAMBRIDGE ON 10 APRIL 1818 FOR 1172 FRANCS [罕有黃金懷錶備紅寶石工字輪擒縱機芯、日期及短錶鍊，編號2348，1818年4月10日以1,172法郎售予劍橋公爵殿下]
BREGUET ET FILS
A FINE AND UNUSUAL GOLD RUBY CYLINDER WATCH WITH DATE AND SHORT CHAIN
NO. 2348, 'MONTRE SIMPLE' SOLD TO SON ALTESSE ROYALE LE DUC DE CAMBRIDGE ON 10 APRIL 1818 FOR 1172 FRANCS
• Movement: gilded, ruby cylinder escapement, plain three-arm brass balance, spiral spring with bi-metallic compensation curb, parachute suspension
• Dial: silver engine-turned dial, satin finished chapter ring with Roman numerals, outer minute ring, two-engine turned subsidiary dials with contrasting engine-turning for seconds and date, blued steel hands, signed Breguet et Fils, additional secret signature either side of 12 o'clock signed Breguet No. 2348
• Case: pink gold, engine-turned back, small central cartouche with monogrammed A beneath a coronet, engine-turned band and bezel, gold pendant and bow, gilt-metal hinged cuvette with winding aperture signed Breguet no. 2348, inside case back numbered B 2348 additionally numbered 167[?] and with Paris control marks for 1804-1819 and case maker's mark AG beneath a star for Amy Gros
• Chain: with a short gold chain
Accompanied by a Breguet certificate dated 28 January 2020.
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Movement: just running at time of cataloguing but would benefit from service and overhaul. A few light scuffs and scratches to the plates but generally appears in good aesthetic condition.
Dial: some tarnishing, especially around 11 until 1 o'clock and 5 until 7 o'clock, small scratch to left of the subsidiary seconds chapter ring running into the chapter ring for hours at 8 o'clock, some other small marks and scuffs.
Case: engine turning generally remains clear although the bezel is rubbed with loos of definition and some slight rubbing towards the edges of the case back. Losenge shaped cartouche within case back AG beneath a star. There is an associated non-matching silver and gold mounted double-ended female ratchet key with sliding adjusting pin - does not fit watch
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).
Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge
Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge (1774-1850) was the youngest son of King George III to survive childhood.
The present lot contains one of Breguet’s celebrated inventions, the pare-chute (parachute) suspension. When creating his pieces, Breguet observed that the pivots in the balance wheel were extremely fragile and in danger of breaking if the watch were dropped or received any physical trauma. In 1790 he set about creating a shock protection system to help prevent future breakages. He designed the pivots in a cone-shaped form held in place by smaller, cone-shaped dishes and mounted on a strip spring. This design allowed the stronger pivot shoulders of the balance staff to absorb any shock, thereby making his piece infinitely more durable.
Famously, he gave a public demonstration of this new shock-absorption system at a gathering at the house of his friend, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand. Breguet threw his watch to the ground and had a guest pick it up and examine that it had not sustained any damage, and continued to work properly. He finalized the design by 1806 and fitted many of his watches with this system. The design served as a forerunner to the Incabloc and other contemporary forms of shock absorption. Also known as the suspension élastique, a full description of this invention can be found in George Daniels, The Art of Breguet, 1975, pp. 331-332, figs. 407a-b, 408 & 409a-b.