Accompanied by duplicata of the Neuchâtel Observatoire Astronomique et Chronométrique Certificat d'Épreuves confirming that the present chronometer has participated at the 1871 timing contest, category pocket chronometers.
Although little is known about Henri Mathey-Peytieu, he doubtlessly was a highly skilled watchmaker of enormous ingenuity, impressively demonstrated by the present watch and its, at the time, highly unusual retrograde date, the two digit year indication and power reserve, all combined with a perpetual calendar with moonphase, a second time zone and a chronometer escapement with one minute tourbillon with Guinand type 1 carriage, submitted to the Neuchâtel Observatory contest in 1871.
This rare timepiece can safely be considered a paragon of the fine art of Swiss watchmaking of the late 19th century. The perfect combination of engineering, craftsmanship and design render this masterpiece a trophy for any collector and amateur of exceptional watches.
According to Kathleen H. Pritchard's Swiss Timepiece Makers 1775-1975, the watchmaking firm Mathey-Peytieu of Le Locle belonged to Henri Théophile Mathey-Henry (1817-1893) who had added his wife's maiden name Peytieu to his maker's name.
The tourbillon carriage of the present watch is a typical example of Ernest Guinand's first type and its distinctive shape in form of an "A" (see Reinhard Meis Das Tourbillon, p. 43, Z44 "Guinand 1"). For a note on Ernest Guinand see the previous lot.