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    Sale 1417

    Rare Watches Including Nautilus 40 Part II

    14 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 85

    Louis Brandt & Frère. A very fine and extremely rare, large 18K pink gold hunter case minute repeating perpetual calendar keyless lever chronongraph watch with moon phases, lunar calendar and central instantaneous minute register

    SIGNED LOUIS BRANDT & FRÈRE, LA CHAUX-DE-FONDS, NO. 4297, CIRCA 1892

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    Louis Brandt & Frère. A very fine and extremely rare, large 18K pink gold hunter case minute repeating perpetual calendar keyless lever chronongraph watch with moon phases, lunar calendar and central instantaneous minute register
    Signed Louis Brandt & Frère, La Chaux-de-Fonds, no. 4297, circa 1892
    MOVEMENT: manual, 36 jewels, repeating with two hammers on two gongs
    DIAL: matte silver with applied yellow gold faceted baton numerals, outer instantaneous 60 minutes register with central hand, four subsidiary dials for days of the week, date, months and leap year, constant seconds, moon phases and lunar calendar
    CASE: 18K, repeating slide and chronograph button in the band, hinged gold cuvette, 57 mm. diam.
    SIGNED: case punched with Louis Brandt Frères mark "LBF" and numbered 4297


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    The present is an extremely rare and highly complicated large watch made by the founders of Omega, Louis Brandt & Frère. Very few watches by the Brandt Company of this quality and complication are known publically. The present example is furthermore preserved in excellent overall condition. The substantial 57 millimeter gold case encloses the highly finished minute repeating movement with perpetual calendar, chronograph and moon phases. It is also fitted with the unusual feature of a central minute register hand instead of the more commonly found subsidiary type register. The beautiful original and untouched silvered dial contrasts perfectly with the yellow gold indexes and hands.

    Louis Brandt & Frère
    In 1848, in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Louis Brandt, watchmaker, started his own manufacture. I 1880 a new manufacture was established in Bienne called Louis Brandt & Fils when eldest son Louis-Paul joined the business. Within ten years, the manufacture had become the largest in Switzerland. From 1891 the company was renamed Louis Brandt & Frère when both Louis-Paul and younger brother César joined the business. At that time, the Brandt brothers introduced new production techniques, mechanization and automation, transforming the small-series manufacture of watches into industrial-scale production. In 1894 they changed their name to Omega, named after their first watch. This name also conveyed quality because Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and means "perfection".