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    Sale 1417

    Rare Watches Including Nautilus 40 Part II

    14 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 78

    Ferdinand Berthoud. A very fine, rare and attractive 18K gold, enamel and pearl-set openface verge watch


    Price Realised  


    Ferdinand Berthoud. A very fine, rare and attractive 18K gold, enamel and pearl-set openface verge watch
    Signed Fd. Berthoud à Paris, no. 7688, circa 1790
    MOVEMENT: manual, chain fusée, verge escapement
    DIAL: white enamel secured by a screw, Arabic numerals, pierced gold hands
    CASE: 18K gold, pearl-set bezels, back overlaid with translucent royal blue guilloché enamel with gold and white paillon border, centered by a gold and white paillon star motif set with seed pearls in gold mounts, 52 mm. diam.
    SIGNED: dial and movement, movement numbered 7688

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    This fine and very attractive watch by the celebrated French maker Ferdinand Berthoud is preserved in excellent condition, the enamel remains undamaged and unrestored even after 220 years. In addition, lavish use of pearls enhances the richness of the gold case.

    The construction of the movement unsurprisingly for Berthoud as such an eminent maker, is constructed in a special way so that the watch could be made as thin and elegant as possible. The third wheel, contrate wheel, crown wheel and potence adjustment of the train and verge escapement are set within a cut-out in the frontplate, the wheels being secured by a separate bridge, the backplate is cut out level with the top of the mainspring barrel and fusée, these also being secured by a separate plate. The overall effect is that the thickness of the movement is reduced substantially from that of a standard verge movement thereby giving the watch a total thickness of only 17 mm.


    Collection N. Tieger, Milan until the early 1980s


    Prominently illustrated and described in Ferdinand Berthoud 1727-1807, Horloger Mécanicien du Roi et de la Marine, edited by the Musée de la Chaux-de-Fonds, 1984, pp. 283-284.