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Breguet, Paris, No. 2859, "Petite montre simple, médaillon à tact, garde-temps, savonnette à étui". A very rare, small and slim 18K gold lever watch, with date, and two étuis (outer detachable cases), one with à tact device, constructed on the principles of the garde-temps, in a Morocco fitted box no. 5121
Breguet, Paris, No. 2859, "Petite montre simple, médaillon à tact, garde-temps, savonnette à étui". A very rare, small and slim 18K gold lever watch, with date, and two étuis (outer detachable cases), one with à tact device, constructed on the principles of the garde-temps, in a Morocco fitted box no. 5121

SIGNED BREGUET, PARIS, NO. 2859, SOLD ON 10 FEBRUARY 1818 TO MONSIEUR DE LOS RIOS FOR THE SUM OF 4,000 FRANCS

Details
Breguet, Paris, No. 2859, "Petite montre simple, médaillon à tact, garde-temps, savonnette à étui". A very rare, small and slim 18K gold lever watch, with date, and two étuis (outer detachable cases), one with à tact device, constructed on the principles of the garde-temps, in a Morocco fitted box no. 5121
Signed Breguet, Paris, No. 2859, sold on 10 February 1818 to Monsieur de los Rios for the sum of 4,000 francs
13''' gilded brass movement, bar calibre, barrel with female arbour, fully jewelled, straight line calibrated lever escapement with divided lift and straight pallets, banking against the escape wheel arbour, draw, three-arm bimetallic steel/platinum compensation balance, gold and platinum screws, with pare-chute suspension on both pivots, blued steel balance spring with terminal curve; date wheel activated twice a day, à tact wheel mechanism in the centre of the movement, engine-turned à grains d'orge silver dial, eccentric chapter with radial Roman numerals inside cartouches, outer minute track and yellow gold Breguet hands; at 12 o'clock, date aperture, with bellow yellow gold index in the shape of an arrow; at 1 o'clock, regulation lever aperture with index, circular three body "forme collier" case, the back and the band engine-turned à grains d'orge; chiselled bezel; ball-shaped pendant and round bow; the regulation, calendar setting and stop buttons in the band, second circular two body étui (outer detachable case), fully engine-turned à grains d'orge; setting button in the band; à tact yellow gold hand in the shape of an arrow on the case back; twelve touch pieces (including the pendant) for the à tact reading of the time; when the watch is fitted inside the second étui it becomes a savonnette or hunting case watch, cases no. 2859 and 3496, by Tavernier, later Master mark "M A B", movement signed
32.5 mm. diam. watch only, 37 mm. diam. à tact case, 36.9 mm. diam. hunting case

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

With Breguet Certificate no. 4368 dated 23 March 2012. The watch is furthermore delivered with a second silvered brass dial and three spare crystals (broken).

In fact, the present watch (movement no. 2859 fitted inside the case no. 3496), Médaillon simple, excentrique, en or, 13 lignes, already made with the à tact device, was sold on 10 February 1818 to Los Rios, for the amount of 4'000 francs. Taken back from Mr de Calabre, it was sold on 18 December 1837 to F. Baring, for the amount of 6'000 francs. Taken back and resold on 18 August 1856 to the dowager (douairière) Duchess of Saxe, for the amount of 6000 francs (with Certificate No. 1451). The unnumbered étui (outer detachable case), with secret compartment, was probably made when the watch was resold in the late-1830s.

This watch, bearing no. 2859, is the last numbered piece of the third production series. The transition from the Third to the Fourth series took place around 1833 1834. Garde-temps is a term used by Breguet for watches specifically to indicate high-precision watches. A true guarantee of quality, the term could be applied to pieces for scientific use as well as for civils such as this watch made to the same principles as the garde-temps or chronomètres. The montre à tact is a watch with a revolving hand on the front or back cover of the case. The hand can be turned until arrested by a stop in the movement and the time will be indicated by the position of the hand relative to touch pieces at the edge of the case.

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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