• IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A  auction at Christies

    Sale 1369

    IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A CONNOISSEUR'S VISION

    16 November 2009, Geneva

  • Lot 296

    Sigismund Rentzsch. A very rare and unusual 18K gold openface cylinder watch with cover winding, bezel quarter repeating and pendant hand setting

    SIGNED RENTZSCH, LONDON, INVT ET FECIT, STAMPED WITH LONDON DATE LETTER FOR 1816

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    Sigismund Rentzsch. A very rare and unusual 18K gold openface cylinder watch with cover winding, bezel quarter repeating and pendant hand setting
    Signed Rentzsch, London, Invt et Fecit, stamped with London date letter for 1816
    Gilt-finished movement, cylinder escapement with steel escape wheel, three-arm steel balance, diamond endstone, wound by rotating the case back, repeating on a single steel gong activated by turning the front bezel clockwise for the hours, then anticlockwise for the quarters, with a small steel pawl engaging with the hour hand to show limit of travel, engine-turned gold dial, Roman numerals on chased chapter ring, subsidiary seconds, engine-turned circular case, ribbed band, back opened by unscrewing the central yellow gold cartouche clockwise, hand setting through the pull-piece in the pendant, case stamped with casemakers' initial LC for Louis Comtesse and London date letter for 1816, movement signed
    51 mm. diam.


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    Sigismund Rentzsch is recorded as working in St. James's Square, London 1813-1842, watchmaker to the King and Royal Family. A clever mechanician, Rentzsch made distinctive clocks and watches. The early form of keyless winding, the hand setting and the novel repeating mechanism on this watch all indicate a highly individual approach to watch making. Research shows just 5 watches with these complications by Rentzsch; 1) the present lot, 2) in the Ilbert Collection, British Museum London, 3) The English Watch 1585-1970 by T. Camerer Cuss, ACC 2009, pages 388-389, 4) Antiquarian Horology, December 1966, subsequently sold at Antiquorum Geneva, lot 162, 21 Oct 1995, and 5) sold at Antiquorum Geneva, lot 106, 18 Oct 1992.