Albert H. Potter. A very fine and rare 18K gold hunter case keyless pocket chronometer with pivoted detent escapement
ALBERT H. POTTERPocket Chronometer No. 24The Property of an Important Private Collector
Albert H. Potter. A very fine and rare 18K gold hunter case keyless pocket chronometer with pivoted detent escapement

SIGNED ALBERT H. POTTER & CO., GENEVA, NO. 24, CIRCA 1875

Details
Albert H. Potter. A very fine and rare 18K gold hunter case keyless pocket chronometer with pivoted detent escapement
Signed Albert H. Potter & Co., Geneva, No. 24, circa 1875
Movement: Potter's patented bridge caliber of 1875, manual, fully jewelled, five jewels in gold chatons, pivoted detent escapement, large bimetallic compensation balance with gold screws, blued steel helical balance spring, signed
Dial: white enamel, signed
Case: hinged back, engine-turned “grains d’orge”, 55 mm. diam., signed and stamped with Potter's patented trademark

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Lot Essay

Consigned by an important private collector the present timepiece is an excellent example of the famous Albert H. Potter’s detent chronometer watches made to his own unique patented design. The dial and case are beautifully preserved, very crisp and showing few signs of wear.

The high-grade movement is fitted with three of his patented inventions: the very thick watch plate; a safety mainspring barrel to protect the watch in the event of mainspring breakage; a pivoted detent escapement designed to reduce the angle through which the balance must move in order to unlock the escapement, thus reducing the risk of 'setting' or stopping in wear.

Albert H. Potter (1836-1908) was one of the greatest watchmakers of the second half of the 19th century and, together with Charles Fasoldt, the most renowned American watchmaker.

Born in upstate New York, he started his career as an apprentice with the watch manufacture Wood & Foley in Albany, NY. In 1855 Potter established his own business in New York City and designed and manufactured watches, apparently not more than around 35 examples, but all of very high quality. In 1875 Potter moved to Geneva where he produced the majority of his fine watches by implementing the ideas and inventions he had developed since the beginning of his career.

Between August and October 1875, he submitted five of his inventions to the US Patent office, including his trademark depicting the also patented compensation balance with auxiliary middle temperature error attachment, a safety barrel, the pivoted detent escapement and a watch plate design. An English patent, No. 2985, was also taken out in 1875 for the same inventions by a patent agent, W. R. Lake, on behalf of Albert Henry Potter of Chicago, Illinois, USA.

For a note on Albert Potter and illustration of a similar watch movement see: The Camerer Cuss Book of Antique Watches, pp. 248 & 249. Also see: “The American Horologist”, September 1941, p. 36.

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