Gene Clark. A unique 18K pink gold openface four minute tourbillon watch with constant force, moon phases and power reserve
Gene Clark. A unique 18K pink gold openface four minute tourbillon watch with constant force, moon phases and power reserve


Gene Clark. A unique 18K pink gold openface four minute tourbillon watch with constant force, moon phases and power reserve
Signed Gene Clark, USA, No. 4, manufacture started in 1987 and finished in 1991
Gilt-finished movement, 28 jewels, constant force escapement, Peto's cross detent, four minute stainless steel tourbillon regulator with stainless steel balance and gold screws, silvered engine-turned dial, Roman numerals on eccentric silvered brushed chapter ring, blued steel hands, outer beady minute divisions, subsidiary seconds, aperture for moon phases above 12, fan-shaped sector for power reserve, large circular case, milled band, case, dial and movement signed
68.5 mm. diam.
NAWCC Bulletin, Volume 39/2, no. 306, p. 155, "Modern Masterpieces of Horology" by Henry B. Fried; NAWCC Bulletin, Volume 30, no. 253, p. 146, "The Almost Lost Art of Breguet", by Peyton Autry; NAWCC Bulletin, Volume 34/2, no. 277, p. 154, "The Almost Lost Art of Breguet Part II (The Clark Constant Force Tourbillon Watch) by Peyton Autry.

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

With fitted wooden box and a pink gold and blued steel ratchet key on a pink gold chain, a copy of NAWCC Bulletin, April 1992 Volume 34/1, no. 277, which includes the article "The Almost Lost Art of Breguet, Part II" by Peyton Autry with detailed descriptions of the present watch and copy of a typed letter from the maker describing the tourbillon with constant force escapement.

Gene D. Clark of Pagosa Springs, Colorado (1948-2006), was one of the finest watchmakers in the world and perhaps the most talented American watchmaker of all times. He is best known for his high-grade tourbillon watches, influenced by the horological genius Abraham-Louis Breguet, which he made by using old tools and ordinary watch and clockmaking equipment.

Gene Clark was, by profession, a restorer of antique sporting guns and a gun lock maker. His vivid interest in horology lead to him becoming a full-time watchmaker in 1976. He was also the first watchmaker in the United States to produce a tourbillon watch in the style of Breguet.

Clark's entire production comprised only seven tourbillon watches. The watches were numbered in the order they were started which however does not reflect the order in which they were finished.

Clark begun manufacture of the present watch, number 4, an extremely complex tourbillon with constant force, moon phases and power reserve, in November 1987 and completed it in June 1991 - requiring around 10,000 hour for its development and construction.

In his letter, Gene D. Clark states his view on the contrast between a remontoir and the constant force device as "a Remontoir usually employs a wheel or escapement member for more than one tick of the watch for each of its windings whilst the true constant force escapement uses a mechanism to wind itself at each tick of the watch. The simplest description I can give of a constant force device is a spring that is wound by a clock (in this instance, the watch movement) and is then discharged at each tick of the watch. The spring is then wound instantly again by wheels and levers activated by the release of this wound spring causing the carriage to rotate a small amount after impulsing the balance. This happens 2 times per second. The constant force and remontoir type devices are extremely rare in watches, and almost unknown in a tourbillon."

Except for the dial engravings, watch number 4 was entirely made by Gene Clark. Beneath the fittings in the box, it is stated that "This set was completed in 1991. The watch, chain & key & box hardware by Gene Clark. The box by Kurt Rush, box furnishings by John Bivens. Box fittings by Stephen Alexander. Engraving by Lynton McKenzie."

More from Important Watches

View All
View All