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JAQUET DROZ. A SET OF TWO VERY FINE AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE QUARTER REPEATING GOLD, ENAMEL, PEARL AND GEM-SET 'PERPETUELLE' SELF-WINDIND WATCHES WITH CENTRE SECONDS
JAQUET DROZ. A SET OF TWO VERY FINE AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE QUARTER REPEATING GOLD, ENAMEL, PEARL AND GEM-SET 'PERPETUELLE' SELF-WINDIND WATCHES WITH CENTRE SECONDS
JAQUET DROZ. A SET OF TWO VERY FINE AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE QUARTER REPEATING GOLD, ENAMEL, PEARL AND GEM-SET 'PERPETUELLE' SELF-WINDIND WATCHES WITH CENTRE SECONDS
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JAQUET DROZ. A SET OF TWO VERY FINE AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE QUARTER REPEATING GOLD, ENAMEL, PEARL AND GEM-SET 'PERPETUELLE' SELF-WINDIND WATCHES WITH CENTRE SECONDS
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JAQUET DROZ EARLY PERPETUELLE SELF WINDING WATCH FOR THE CHINESE MARKET
JAQUET DROZ. A SET OF TWO VERY FINE AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE QUARTER REPEATING GOLD, ENAMEL, PEARL AND GEM-SET 'PERPETUELLE' SELF-WINDIND WATCHES WITH CENTRE SECONDS

SIGNED JAQUET DROZ, LONDON, CIRCA 1785, MADE IN SWITZERLAND AND RETAILED VIA LONDON FOR THE CHINESE MARKET

Details
JAQUET DROZ. A SET OF TWO VERY FINE AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE QUARTER REPEATING GOLD, ENAMEL, PEARL AND GEM-SET 'PERPETUELLE' SELF-WINDIND WATCHES WITH CENTRE SECONDS
SIGNED JAQUET DROZ, LONDON, CIRCA 1785, MADE IN SWITZERLAND AND RETAILED VIA LONDON FOR THE CHINESE MARKET
Movement: Frosted gilt, full plate, ogival polished gold oscillating weight pivoted at the circumference and oscillating between two steel spring bumpers, going barrel, transmission to the mainspring barrel via three wheels, cylinder escapement, balance with flat balance spring, pierced and chased foliate cock with polished steel endplate, repeating on a bell in the back of the case (for both watches)
Dial: White enamel, gold pierced hands (for both watches)
Case: Two-body, the bezel hinged through the pendant released by a concealed push-piece in the band at 6 o'clock, the bezels and band entirely set with split pearls and gems, the back set with a finely painted on enamel panel depicting figures in a landscape within a gold paillon border, 63 mm. diam. (for both watches)

Sale room notice
The printed catalogue should read A SET OF 2 VERY FINE AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE QUARTER REPEATING GOLD, ENAMEL, PEARL AND GEM-SET 'PERPETUELLE' SELF-WINDIND WATCHES WITH CENTRE SECONDS.

Brought to you by

Remi Guillemin
Remi Guillemin Head of Department, Geneva

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Lot Essay

This remarkable set of watches by the legendary mechanician Pierre Jaquet Droz with exquisite and lavishly decorated cases are distinguished by their extraordinary rarity and quality. It is amongst the most significant Chinese market watches to be offered at auction in recent years.

Early self-winding watches are extremely rare and only one or two other examples by Jaquet Droz are known. The present watch was made at a time when leading watchmakers were experimenting with the idea of the 'perpetuelle' or self-winding watch mechanism. Whilst it is Breguet who is most famous for the perpetuelle movement, the invention itself is thought to have been made by Perrelet in Switzerland around 1770 and it is therefore likely that Jaquet Droz was directly influenced by him in the creation of his perpètuelle watches. During the last quarter of the 18th century several makers attempted to perfect the perpetuelle but most of those watches were not particularly successful requiring considerable movement to maintain enough power. As is well known, Breguet did perfect the mechanism and made watches that reacted to the slightest touch. The present watch by the legendary maker Jaquet Droz is one of the small number of early self-winding watches to survive and of great interest in the development of horology. The lavishly jewelled gold case and the center-seconds feature suggest that this watch was destined for export to China. It was probably retailed via Jaquet Droz's agent in London, Henry Maillardet. It was a clever marketing ploy by Jaquet Droz to sign many of his watches destined for the Orient 'Jaquet Droz, London', this was because goods from London were regarded as superior quality and had extra cachet therefore commanding higher prices.




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