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LE ROY. AN IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY COMPLICATED 18K GOLD OPENFACE TWO-TRAIN LEVER WATCH WITH DAY AND DATE CALENDAR, SPLIT DEAD INDEPENDENT SECONDS, SUBSIDIARY SECONDS WITH FIFTHS OF A SECOND DIABLOTINE, TWO TIME ZONES, MOON PHASES, LUNAR CALENDAR AND REAUMUR THERMOMETER
LE ROY. AN IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY COMPLICATED 18K GOLD OPENFACE TWO-TRAIN LEVER WATCH WITH DAY AND DATE CALENDAR, SPLIT DEAD INDEPENDENT SECONDS, SUBSIDIARY SECONDS WITH FIFTHS OF A SECOND DIABLOTINE, TWO TIME ZONES, MOON PHASES, LUNAR CALENDAR AND REAUMUR THERMOMETER
LE ROY. AN IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY COMPLICATED 18K GOLD OPENFACE TWO-TRAIN LEVER WATCH WITH DAY AND DATE CALENDAR, SPLIT DEAD INDEPENDENT SECONDS, SUBSIDIARY SECONDS WITH FIFTHS OF A SECOND DIABLOTINE, TWO TIME ZONES, MOON PHASES, LUNAR CALENDAR AND REAUMUR THERMOMETER
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LE ROY
LE ROY. AN IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY COMPLICATED 18K GOLD OPENFACE TWO-TRAIN LEVER WATCH WITH DAY AND DATE CALENDAR, SPLIT DEAD INDEPENDENT SECONDS, SUBSIDIARY SECONDS WITH FIFTHS OF A SECOND DIABLOTINE, TWO TIME ZONES, MOON PHASES, LUNAR CALENDAR AND REAUMUR THERMOMETER

SIGNED LE ROY & FILS, HGERS DE LA MARINE, PALAIS-ROYAL 13 & 15, GALERIE MONTPENSIER A PARIS, 296 REGENT STREET, LONDON, NO. 36928, CIRCA 1865

Details
LE ROY. AN IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY COMPLICATED 18K GOLD OPENFACE TWO-TRAIN LEVER WATCH WITH DAY AND DATE CALENDAR, SPLIT DEAD INDEPENDENT SECONDS, SUBSIDIARY SECONDS WITH FIFTHS OF A SECOND DIABLOTINE, TWO TIME ZONES, MOON PHASES, LUNAR CALENDAR AND REAUMUR THERMOMETER
SIGNED LE ROY & FILS, HGERS DE LA MARINE, PALAIS-ROYAL 13 & 15, GALERIE MONTPENSIER A PARIS, 296 REGENT STREET, LONDON, NO. 36928, CIRCA 1865
Movement : manual, fully jewelled, repeating with two hammers on two gongs
Dial : white enamel
Case : polished with engine turned back, Approx. 50 mm. diam., hinged gold cuvette, signed

Brought to you by

Remi Guillemin
Remi Guillemin Head of Department, Geneva

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Lot Essay

This important and early highly complicated watch is typical of the type of exceptional timepiece sold by the house of Le Roy located in Paris and London. A remarkable feat of horological excellence, the present watch is one of the exceedingly rare examples with an independent dead centre seconds mechanism, enhanced by an additional split seconds mechanism. It is operated in three steps, via a single push button in the crown: 1st push - to start both hands regardless of whether they are split or not; 2nd push - to split; 3rd push - to stop. The independent dead seconds mechanism requires two wheel trains and two barrels, one for the movement and one for the sweep centre seconds hand. It allows the seconds hand or hands to be stopped without stopping the main train in order not to interfere with the accuracy of timekeeping. The invention of this mechanism is attributed to Moise Pouzait, Geneva 1776.
The inclusion of a thermometer in a watch is also an exceedingly rare feature. The metallic pocket thermometer is said to have been invented by Urban Jürgensen in 1801, but it was Jacques Frédérick Houriet who first had the idea a of fitting a thermometer to watches, in particular his tourbillon chronometers.


The Nine Complications
Minute repeating
Independent centre seconds
Split centre seconds
1/5th second diablotine
Second time zone
Date calendar
Days of the week calendar
Moon phases and age
Thermometer


Although several technical features of the present watch including the thermometer and the repeat slide with indentation are classic traits of watches made by Louis Audemars, the style of the movement and numbering are not typical and therefore a confident attribution to Louis Audemars cannot be made.

Leroy & Son
The Leroy dynasty of famous watchmakers was founded in 1751 by Charles Leroy, watchmaker to the King and renowned chronometer maker. After his death in 1771, the firm based at Paris' prestigious Palais Royal continued commerce under different leadership. In 1854, "Le Roy & Son" was established in London, enjoying great success under its manager who was well known to the London upper classes and reputed to be close to the queen herself. Shortly afterwards, a second boutique was opened in New Bond Street. Officially appointed Watchmaker to Queen Victoria in 1863 (a great honour at that time for any foreign company, particularly a French one), Le Roy & Sons delivered a large number of unique pieces to the court engraved For the Queen.
Le Roy & Fils was present at all the national and European exhibitions, from Madrid to Vienna, London and Paris, collecting prizes, an impressive number of medals for progress, gold medals and other distinctions.
Louis Leroy, Horloger de la Marine, started as a watchmaker for the company in 1879 and took over the business with Jules Desfontaines, changing the firm's name to L. Leroy et Cie. Louis'
brother Léon Leroy who had joined in 1895 became partner in 1914.

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