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    Sale 1348

    Important Pocket Watches and Wristwatches

    12 November 2007, Geneva

  • Lot 258

    Mathey-Peytieu. An extremely fine and rare 18K gold openface perpetual calendar dual time keyless pocket chronometer with phases of the moon, retrograde date, year display, one minute tourbillon and Bulletin de Marche

    SIGNED HENRI MATHEY PEYTIEU, CHRONOMETRE TOURBILLON, 1RE CLASSE, NO. 20462, CIRCA 1870

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Mathey-Peytieu. An extremely fine and rare 18K gold openface perpetual calendar dual time keyless pocket chronometer with phases of the moon, retrograde date, year display, one minute tourbillon and Bulletin de Marche
    Signed Henri Mathey Peytieu, Chronometre Tourbillon, 1re Classe, No. 20462, circa 1870
    With nickel-finished highly jewelled movement, pivoted detent escapement, large bimetallic compensation balance with gold poising screws, blued steel balance spring with overcoil, one minute tourbillon regulator with Ernest Guinand's first type polished steel three-arm carriage, screwed gold chatons, glazed dust cover, gold cuvette, the engine-turned silver dial with Arabic numerals on blank chapter ring, fan-shaped gilt chapter ring for the retrograde date, four gilt and silver subsidiary dials indicating the second time zone combined with day, 32 hours power reserve combined with the two digit year indicator, phases of the moon combined with constant seconds, month combined with leap year indicator, in later added large circular plain case with calendar correctors in the band, cuvette and movement signed and numbered, dial signed
    60 mm. diam.


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    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.

    Literature

    Listed in Das Tourbillon by Reinhard, Meis, p. 350. According to the listing, the present watch, no. 20462, with chronometer tourbillon and pivoted detent escapement was submitted to the Neuchâtel Observatory chronometer contest in 1871.