This beautifully pierced and engraved clockwatch is a very rare example of a 17th century timepiece made by an Italian watchmaker. Furthermore as a clockwatch – fitted with a striking train and striking the passing hours exactly like a clock - it is a particularly rare survival.
The present watch was made in a period before the invention of the balance spring which did not appear until after 1675, the balance still works in the same way but its arc is unregulated by a spring. In the 17th century there was no necessity to know the time more exactly than to the nearest hour and therefore a single hand was perfectly adequate for the purpose, watches with both hour and minute hands were gradually phased in from about 1690. This impressive early Italian watch would be a fascinating addition to any serious horological collection and at the same time makes a great display as a piece of historic mechanical art.