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MARTIN SEIDEL, AN EXTREMELY FINE, UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT LARGE SILVER OPENFACE HIGH-PRECISION DETENT CHRONOMETER WATCH WITH ONE-MINUTE FLYING TOURBILLON CONSTRUCTED ACCORDING TO ALFRED HELWIG WITH GUILLAUME BALANCE AND POWER RESERVE INDICATION
MARTIN SEIDEL, AN EXTREMELY FINE, UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT LARGE SILVER OPENFACE HIGH-PRECISION DETENT CHRONOMETER WATCH WITH ONE-MINUTE FLYING TOURBILLON CONSTRUCTED ACCORDING TO ALFRED HELWIG WITH GUILLAUME BALANCE AND POWER RESERVE INDICATION
MARTIN SEIDEL, AN EXTREMELY FINE, UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT LARGE SILVER OPENFACE HIGH-PRECISION DETENT CHRONOMETER WATCH WITH ONE-MINUTE FLYING TOURBILLON CONSTRUCTED ACCORDING TO ALFRED HELWIG WITH GUILLAUME BALANCE AND POWER RESERVE INDICATION
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MARTIN SEIDELONE-MINUTE FLYING TOURBILLON CHRONOMETER
MARTIN SEIDEL, AN EXTREMELY FINE, UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT LARGE SILVER OPENFACE HIGH-PRECISION DETENT CHRONOMETER WATCH WITH ONE-MINUTE FLYING TOURBILLON CONSTRUCTED ACCORDING TO ALFRED HELWIG WITH GUILLAUME BALANCE AND POWER RESERVE INDICATION

SIGNED MARTIN SEIDEL, RUDOLSTADT, MANUFACTURED IN 1938

Details
MARTIN SEIDEL, AN EXTREMELY FINE, UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT LARGE SILVER OPENFACE HIGH-PRECISION DETENT CHRONOMETER WATCH WITH ONE-MINUTE FLYING TOURBILLON CONSTRUCTED ACCORDING TO ALFRED HELWIG WITH GUILLAUME BALANCE AND POWER RESERVE INDICATION
SIGNED MARTIN SEIDEL, RUDOLSTADT, MANUFACTURED IN 1938
Movement: gilt, half plate, one-minute flying tourbillon with Helwig-type carriage, detent chronometer escapement, Guillaume anibal-brass compensation balance with eight gold temperature adjustment screws and four gold quarter screws, free-sprung blued steel balance spring with outer terminal curve
Dial: matte silvered, large subsidiary seconds and power reserve indication
Case: Three-body, silver rimmed glazed cuvette, 60 mm. diam.

Brought to you by

Remi Guillemin
Remi Guillemin Head of Department, Geneva

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Lot Essay

A unique and historically important masterwork by the renowned German chronometer maker Martin Seidel, this superb one-minute tourbillon watch with detent chronometer escapement and Guillaume balance was probably made for entry into a competition for craftsmen that took place in 1939. For devotees of high precision watchmaking the present watch can be considered as one of the trophies of German haute horology. The ‘flying’ tourbillon was invented in 1920 by Alfred Helwig, professor and technical director of the Uhrmacherschule (German Watchmaking School) in Glashütte. The flying tourbillon has the same single driving force of a tourbillon but rather than being supported by a bridge or cock at both top and bottom, it is cantilevered, being only supported from one side, hence the designation ‘flying’. The design of the tourbillon carriage of the present watch is made according to that of Alfred Helwig.

For the past two decades this watch has been a highlight of one of the world’s great watch collections. Not seen in public for many years, it offers collectors and those who appreciate the very best in watchmaking the unique opportunity to possess an historic piece of German watchmaking.


Martin Seidel (1910-1989)
Was a German clock and chronometer maker from Rudolstadt, Thuringia. For his master craftsman's examination in Chemnitz in 1934, he made a masterpiece of a pocket chronometer for which he also sought advice from Alfred Helwig. In 1936 he settled in Rudolstadt and took over a watch shop. In 1938 he made a one-minute tourbillon in the style of the Glashütte school tourbillon – the present watch. Martin Seidel had evidently studied closely the work of Alfred Helwig although he does not seem to have been a pupil in the traditional sense. In 1960 Alfred Helwig wrote in an essay:

“Let us remember those idealistic makers who worked far away from the German watchmaking school and produced wonderful creations after studying our publications, among them four excellent tourbillons: Martin Seidel in Rudolstadt, A. Drieselmann in Hamburg, Albrecht Thiel in Ruhla, Woldemar Fleck in Glashuette-Sebnitz and W. Prendel in USA."

Seidel manufactured other pocket watches and pocket chronometers as well as precision pendulum clocks. He is best known for his completion of one of the extra complicated pocket watch movements that he obtained in 1940 from Emil Leutert, long-time regulator and operations manager of the Union watch factory. The watch was completed between 1942 and 1952 and Seidel made or installed the escapement, the regulator, all ruby ??bearings, various cocks and the case. The work was finished by hand (edge ??breaking, grinding, polishing of the steel levers, screws, the plates, bridges and clamps as well as partial gilding). Seidel donated the finished watch to the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon in Dresden in 1988.

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