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Breguet, Paris, No. 979 "Montre simple, nouveau calibre". A fine and rare 18K gold openface watch with unusual calibre
Breguet, Paris, No. 979 "Montre simple, nouveau calibre". A fine and rare 18K gold openface watch with unusual calibre

SIGNED BREGUET, PARIS, NO. 979, SOLD ON 16 MARCH 1803 TO MR MARIANI FOR THE SUM OF 960 FRANCS

Details
Breguet, Paris, No. 979 "Montre simple, nouveau calibre". A fine and rare 18K gold openface watch with unusual calibre
Signed Breguet, Paris, No. 979, sold on 16 March 1803 to Mr Mariani for the sum of 960 Francs
24''' gilded brass movement, ébauche no. 3894, new calibre with three lateral bridges, overhanging ruby cylinder escapement, three-arm plain brass balance, with pare-chute suspension on the top pivot, blued steel flat balance spring with bimetallic compensation curb on the regulator, gilt brass cuvette, white enamel dial no. 147 by Borel (signed on the back), with suspended Breguet numerals, outer minute track and blued steel Breguet hands; subsidiary seconds dial with blued steel equilibrated hand at 5 o'clock, circular four body "collier" form case, the back engine-turned ggrains d'orge, in the centre an escutcheon engraved with the cipher M L C G; fluted band; ball-shaped pendant and round loose ring bow; case no. 217 by Gustave Mermillod, movement and cuvette signed, secret signature on dial below 12 o'clock
60.2 mm. diam.

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Lot Essay

With Breguet Certificate no. 4371 dated 23 March 2012.

Sold on 25 ventôse an 11 (16 March 1803) to Mr Mariani for the amount of 960 francs.

With the term nouveau calibre (new calibre), Breguet described a new type of movement that he introduced for simple watches after 1796, following his return from exile, and designated as the final development for his watches made without striking or repeating. Usually this type of watch was constructed in a smaller size and was rarely seen with a subsidiary dial for the seconds.

The pare-chute (parachute) suspension is a safety device invented by Breguet to protect the pivots of a balance from damage if the watch is dropped or knocked. The bearing is fitted into a spring which flexes with the inertia of the balance and allows the shock to be taken by the stronger pivot shoulders of the balance staff. Sometimes it was called suspension élastique. This invention is fully explained and illustrated by George Daniels in his The Art of Breguet (1975), pp. 331-332, ill. 407a-b, 408 and 409a-b.

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