BREGUET. AN EXTREMELY FINE AND VERY RARE, 18K GOLD, ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET A TACT PENDANT WATCH WITH RUBY CYLINDER ESCAPEMENT
BREGUET. AN EXTREMELY FINE AND VERY RARE, 18K GOLD, ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET A TACT PENDANT WATCH WITH RUBY CYLINDER ESCAPEMENT
BREGUET. AN EXTREMELY FINE AND VERY RARE, 18K GOLD, ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET A TACT PENDANT WATCH WITH RUBY CYLINDER ESCAPEMENT
BREGUET. AN EXTREMELY FINE AND VERY RARE, 18K GOLD, ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET A TACT PENDANT WATCH WITH RUBY CYLINDER ESCAPEMENT
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BREGUETBREGUET NO. 2304 'MONTRE OR A TACT EMAILLEE ET PERLES POUR TACT'
BREGUET. AN EXTREMELY FINE AND VERY RARE, 18K GOLD, ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET A TACT PENDANT WATCH WITH RUBY CYLINDER ESCAPEMENT

SIGNED BREGUET, 'MONTRE OR A TACT EMAILLEE ET PERLES POUR TACT', NO. 2304, CASE NO. 2993, SOLD ON 31 JANUARY 1810 TO MME. AWILS FOR THE SUM OF 1500 FRANCS

Details
BREGUET. AN EXTREMELY FINE AND VERY RARE, 18K GOLD, ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET A TACT PENDANT WATCH WITH RUBY CYLINDER ESCAPEMENT
SIGNED BREGUET, 'MONTRE OR A TACT EMAILLEE ET PERLES POUR TACT', NO. 2304, CASE NO. 2993, SOLD ON 31 JANUARY 1810 TO MME. AWILS FOR THE SUM OF 1500 FRANCS
Movement: Manual, central barrel, ruby cylinder escapement, pare-chute suspension
Dial: Small, silvered, eccentric
Case: No. 2993 by Pierre Benjamin Tavernier, overlaid with translucent grey enamel over an engine turned ground, gold paillone decoration, the front cover with aperture for the dial, the back with arrow hand for the à tact, pearl touch pieces on the band, approx. 38.5 mm. diam., numbered and punched with Tavernier’s mark, gold cuvette secured by two screws
With: Breguet Certificate no. 3093, dated 21 May 1965 and an original Breguet wooden presentation box
Literature
A similar watch, no. 1099, is illustrated in: A Voyage Through Time - The Masis Collection of Horological Masterpieces, Richard Chadwick, 2020, pp. 400-401.
Two further examples are illustrated in: Breguet, Emmanuel Breguet, 1997, pp. 138–139 and pp. 144-145.
Another, No. 960, is illustrated in: Breguet, un apogée de l’horlogerie européenne, Louvre, 2009, p.141.
Sale room notice
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Remi Guillemin
Remi Guillemin Head of Department, Geneva

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Lot Essay

This particularly beautiful and sumptuously decorated version of Breguet’s ‘montre à tact’, has been part of one of the world’s great watch collections for several decades. Accompanied by a Breguet Certificate dated 1965 confirming its sale to a Madame Awils on the 31st January 1810, the present watch offers collectors the opportunity to obtain a very rare example of a ‘medaillon à tact’ with an exquisitely enamelled case and pearl touch pieces.

The Breguet Montre à Tact Watch
Breguet introduced the à tact watch, one of his most elegant and novel inventions, at the French Industrial Exhibition which opened in Paris on 17th September 1798. Made, like all his other watches, in several variations, the watch took its name from the system used to read the time. The position of the arrow on the exterior of the case corresponds to the position of the watch’s hour hand and is felt manually by the user in relation to hour touch pieces set at the edge of the case. The idea was that the time could be read simply by touching the watch whilst in the pocket, useful in situations where for reasons of discretion it would be inappropriate to look at one’s watch or make a repeating watch strike. Indeed, the 7th Duke of Wellington suggested to George Daniels that à tact watches were worn by fashionable young men who wished to know the time without the embarrassment of their host knowing their anxiety. The movements of the à tact watches are basically souscription movements which underwent the same progression of development over the same period of time. The montre à tact was always quite expensive with models ranging between 1,000 and 2,000 Francs up to around 5,000 Francs for a sumptuously jeweled example. They continued to be made until 1834.

Pierre Benjamin Tavernier
The case of the present watch is stamped PBT for Pierre Benjamin Tavernier. The renowned case maker located in Paris supplied his exceptional cases to the most famous watchmakers of the time, notably Breguet, Lépine, Ferdinand Berthoud and others.

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