70
70
Breguet
RARE AND EARLY GILT BRASS AND MAHOGANY EIGHT DAY DOUBLE-BOXED MARINE CHRONOMETER WITH TWIN BARRELS, SOLD TO FIRST CAPTAIN CHARLES BAUDIN FOR 2'000 FRANCS CIRCA 1815
ACCÉDER AU LOT
70
Breguet
RARE AND EARLY GILT BRASS AND MAHOGANY EIGHT DAY DOUBLE-BOXED MARINE CHRONOMETER WITH TWIN BARRELS, SOLD TO FIRST CAPTAIN CHARLES BAUDIN FOR 2'000 FRANCS CIRCA 1815
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Watches

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Genève

Breguet
RARE AND EARLY GILT BRASS AND MAHOGANY EIGHT DAY DOUBLE-BOXED MARINE CHRONOMETER WITH TWIN BARRELS, SOLD TO FIRST CAPTAIN CHARLES BAUDIN FOR 2'000 FRANCS CIRCA 1815
Dial: silvered matte
Caliber: openwork brass, detente escapement
Case: inner Mahogany box with spring arms, outer box with rectangular gimbal, sliding aperture
Case number: 104
Dimensions: outer box 30.5 x 29.2 x 29.2 cm, inner box 16.5 x 16.5 x 11 cm
Signed: case and dial
Accessories: Breguet certificate and numbered key
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Description

Breguet’s earliest marine chronometers are numbered 104 (the present lot), 105, and 106. Until the present lot was discovered, No. 106, sold at Sotheby’s New York, May 2018, was thought to be the only survivor. Numbers 104 and 105 were originally sold in 1817 and 1818 respectively, for 2000 Francs, whereas 106 was sold in 1816, despite the numbering sequence. Work on the chronometers was believed to have started prior to Breguet’s exile to Switzerland in 1793.

The box of 104 differs in construction to the other examined early chronometer, 106, which is more in kind with the work of English watchmaker John Arnold. Indeed, like many of Arnold’s marine chronometers, 106 is housed in an octagonal mahogany box, (see Sotheby’s London, The George Daniels Horological Collection 6, November 2012, lot 101). The present lot, 104, is in a large, double mahogany box with rectangular gimbals, and is more like Breguet’s pieces finished later, (see George Daniels, The Art of Breguet 1974, p. 274 illustration 339a). Nevertheless, the movements of both chronometers are strikingly similar, and still retain strong influence from Arnold. The balance echoes those constructed by Ferdinand Berthoud, with four arms and semicircular weights secured by what appear to be gold and platinum screws. It can be presumed that as this chronometer was sold later, the box was likely finished later, and with more experimentation from Breguet himself and therefore not in an octagonal box similar to Arnold’s style.

In 1815, Breguet received the title of Horologer de La Marine. Shortly thereafter, he sold No. 106, and shortly thereafter 104 and 105.  From 1818, Breguet’s production of marine chronometers was well under way.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time chronometer No. 104 has appeared to public market, and may be the only opportunity to acquire Breguet’s lowest numbered marine chronometer, a true relic of horological history.

Important Watches

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Genève