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    Sale 1417

    Rare Watches Including Nautilus 40 Part II

    14 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 201

    Breguet et Fils No. 2176 "Montre Répétition à Ponts". A very fine and rare 18K gold openface à toc quarter repeating watch with ruby cylinder escapement

    SIGNED BREGUET ET FILS, NO. 2176, SOLD TO MADEMOISELLE DE VIENNE ON 12 JUNE 1809 FOR THE SUM OF 1,080 FRANCS

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    Breguet et Fils No. 2176 "Montre Répétition à Ponts". A very fine and rare 18K gold openface à toc quarter repeating watch with ruby cylinder escapement
    Signed Breguet et Fils, no. 2176, sold to Mademoiselle de Vienne on 12 June 1809 for the sum of 1,080 Francs
    MOVEMENT: gilt brass, standing barrel, overhanging ruby cylinder escapement, brass balance, parachute to the upper pivot, à toc quarter repeating with two polished steel hammer on blocks in the band
    DIAL: white enamel, Breguet numerals, outer railway minute divisions, secured by a screw, blued steel Breguet hands
    CASE: 18K gold, “forme collier”, polished, flat band, gilt brass cuvette secured by a screw, quarter repeating pull-twist push-piece in the pendant, 46.5 mm. diam.
    SIGNED: case punched with the mark of Amy Gros and numbered 19, B2176, French gold marks, cuvette signed Breguet No. 2176, dial signed Breguet et Fils, the reverse signed Vincent 9, movement punch-numbered on the dial plate 2176


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    According to the Archives of Breguet, the present quarter repeating watch with case no. 19 by Amy Gros was sold on 12 June 1809 to "Mademoiselle de Vienne", damsel from Vienna, for the amount of 1,080 francs.

    This watch is a fine example of a Breguet “dumb” quarter repeating watch with his famous overhanging ruby cylinder escapement.

    “Dumb” quarter repeating or repeating “à toc” is the term given to a repeating watch without gongs or bells whereby the hammers strike small metal blocks inside the band of the case during repeating. This system was probably used for reasons of discretion for the wearer.

    Breguet used the cylinder escapement throughout his life, it is a frictional rest escapement but of a far superior kind. The first cylinder escapements made by the English makers were not much more accurate in operation than the verge. This was because the diameter of the cylinder was too great in relation to the diameter of the balance, causing a loss of energy through friction. To reduce the friction, the English makers, who were very skilled in the art of jeweling, made the cylinder half-section ruby. The ruby was fitted into a steel frame - it was this form of cylinder escapement first used by Breguet. By about 1795 Breguet had developed it to the very familiar "overhanging" ruby cylinder, these escapements performed so well and with such increased consistency of rate that temperature errors previously swamped by general bad performance now needed correction. For this reason, Breguet's ruby cylinder escapements often have a compensation curb fitted to the balance.

    We are indebted to Mr. Emmanuel Breguet for his valuable assistance in researching the present watch.

    Special Notice

    On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.