The first automatons appeared in Geneva in the late 18th century, small technical marvels imitating the movements of living creatures or beings, ranging from simpler "Bras en l'Air" figures whose arms would indicate the time to incredibly complex works such as pastoral, theatre or other scenes. Some of these automata were fitted with repeating or musical mechanisms and were highly appreciated works of art not only in Europe but also by Chinese and Ottoman dignitaries.
The present automaton watch is an exceptional example for the high quality of objects produced by the most eminent craftsmen in Geneva. It is extraordinary for the complexity and ingeniousness of the musical and automaton mechanisms driving two automatons and the small watch movement, separated from the automaton movement and incorporated into its top plate.
Although only bearing the casemaker's mark G&M, it can be attributed to one of Geneva's renowned automaton makers such as Pierre-Simon Gounouilhou, Louis Duchêne & Fils or Antoine Rojard.