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Breguet. A fine and rare 18K gold "Souscription" watch
Breguet. A fine and rare 18K gold "Souscription" watch

SIGNED BREGUET ET FILS, NO. 1576, CIRCA 1805

Details
Breguet. A fine and rare 18K gold "Souscription" watch
Signed Breguet et Fils, no. 1576, circa 1805
Gilded brass ruby cylinder movement with central going barrel, plain three arm brass balance, pare-chute suspension on the pivot, blued steel flat balance spring with compensation curb on the regulator, gold cuvette, engine-turned silver dial, Roman numerals on blank chapter ring, single blued steel hand, large engine-turned case, dial signed Breguet et Fils, case numbered B 1576, movement signed Breguet and numbered 1576
54 mm. diam.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

According to the Archives of Montres Breguet, the present "Montre souscription taille moyenne" with case no. 827 by Mermillod was sold to Monsieur Moreau, Breguet's agent in St. Petersburg, on 8 September 1809 for the amount of 710 Francs.

Breguet's souscription watches of "taille moyenne" or mid size, such as this watch, are much rarer than the better known "grande taille" or large size with a diameter of approx. 61 mm. The rarity of the present "Montre simple une aiguille dite montre de Souscription" is furthermore enhanced by the presence of a gold cuvette, a feature hardly found in this type of watches.

The unique idea of the Souscription watch was first conceived by Abraham Louis Breguet in 1794 during the French Revolution as a method to remain financially stable. A buyer could do a down payment of 25 Francs for a watch of a limited series, with the balance due upon delivery. In this manner, Breguet watches became more accessible and the payments in advance helped finance the development of other projects.

Amongst Breguet's signature pieces, "Souscription" watches are characterized by their sober, yet elegant design and the single hand indicating simultaneously hours and minutes.

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