• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1348

    Important Pocket Watches and Wristwatches

    12 November 2007, Geneva

  • Lot 430

    Capt. An extremely fine and rare 18K white gold tonneau-shaped minute repeating wristwatch with Breguet numerals


    Price Realised  


    Capt. An extremely fine and rare 18K white gold tonneau-shaped minute repeating wristwatch with Breguet numerals
    Signed Henry Capt, Geneve, No. 2866, circa 1920
    With circular nickel-finished lever movement, 29 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, minute repeating on two polished steel hammers, the silvered matte dial with Breguet numerals, in tonneau-shaped case with snap on back, repeating slide in the band, period 18K white gold buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    36 mm. overall length

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The present watch is an extremely fine example of an early minute repeating wristwatch, the tonneau-shaped case a typical design of the 1920s. Of highest quality and in excellent overall condition, its timeless yet understated elegance is enhanced by the white gold case and the most popular Breguet numerals.

    Henry Capt
    Henry-Daniel or Henry Capt was one of the leading manufacturers of musical automata at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. He specialized in the production of complicated watches, musical and automaton timepieces. Around 1789 Capt settled in Geneva and worked for several renowned companies such as Jaquet-Droz, Godet, Leschot and his brother-in-law Isaac Daniel Piguet.

    When Piguet left to enter a partnership with Philippe-Samuel Meylan in 1811, Henry Capt continued to work first on his own, later with his son Charles Henry, until around 1830, when he joined forces with Aubert and son, Place Bel-Air in Geneva.

    The business was later continued by Charles Henry's son Henry, producing high quality watches until 1893 when he sold the firm to Louis Gallopin in Geneva, specialized in the manufacture of high quality watches and jewellery.

    Based on the signature on the watch and period of its manufacture, it can be assumed that Henry Capt continued producing small quantity of complicated, high quality watches under his name, possibly by special order only.

    For a lady's minute repeating wristwatch signed Henry Capt, No. 40871, also circa 1920, see Armbanduhren - 100 Jahre Entwicklungsgeschichte by Kahlert, Mühe, Brunner, fifth edition, p. 413, pl. 1403-1405.