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BREGUET, NO. 3832. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT LARGE GOLD HUNTER DOUBLE CASE HALF-QUARTER REPEATING LEVER À TACT WATCH WITH EQUATION OF TIME, DATE, DAYS OF THE WEEK AND MONTHS INDICATIONS
BREGUET, NO. 3832. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT LARGE GOLD HUNTER DOUBLE CASE HALF-QUARTER REPEATING LEVER À TACT WATCH WITH EQUATION OF TIME, DATE, DAYS OF THE WEEK AND MONTHS INDICATIONS
BREGUET, NO. 3832. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT LARGE GOLD HUNTER DOUBLE CASE HALF-QUARTER REPEATING LEVER À TACT WATCH WITH EQUATION OF TIME, DATE, DAYS OF THE WEEK AND MONTHS INDICATIONS
BREGUET, NO. 3832. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT LARGE GOLD HUNTER DOUBLE CASE HALF-QUARTER REPEATING LEVER À TACT WATCH WITH EQUATION OF TIME, DATE, DAYS OF THE WEEK AND MONTHS INDICATIONS
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BREGUET NO. 3832 EQUATION OF TIME, HALF-QUARTER REPEATER, TRIPLE CALENDAR & A TACT
BREGUET, NO. 3832. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT LARGE GOLD HUNTER DOUBLE CASE HALF-QUARTER REPEATING LEVER À TACT WATCH WITH EQUATION OF TIME, DATE, DAYS OF THE WEEK AND MONTHS INDICATIONS

SIGNED BREGUET, NO. 3832, SOLD ON 30 AUGUST 1828 TO MONSIEUR LE COMTE D'ARCHINTO FOR THE SUM OF 8000 FRANCS.

Details
BREGUET, NO. 3832. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT LARGE GOLD HUNTER DOUBLE CASE HALF-QUARTER REPEATING LEVER À TACT WATCH WITH EQUATION OF TIME, DATE, DAYS OF THE WEEK AND MONTHS INDICATIONS
SIGNED BREGUET, NO. 3832, SOLD ON 30 AUGUST 1828 TO MONSIEUR LE COMTE D'ARCHINTO FOR THE SUM OF 8000 FRANCS.
Movement: 21''', manual, gilt brass, jewelled lever escapement, compensation balance
Dial: guilloche silver, secret signature to the left of 12 o'clock, eccentric meantime chapter ring and eccentric subsidiary seconds, subsidiary dials for months and days of the week, apertures for the date and regulation lever, equation of time sector with serpentine blued steel hand with gold sun
Case: No. 3832, engine turned detachable outer case with à tact hand and touch pieces on the band, repeat slide on the inner case band, 53 mm. diam.
With: Breguet Certificate No. 3529 dated 11 October 1977 and an original Breguet wooden presentation box

Brought to you by

Remi Guillemin
Remi Guillemin Head of Department, Geneva

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Lot Essay

The present watch is amongst the rarest and most expensive Breguet watches ever made, it was sold to the Comte d’Archinto in 1828 for the incredible sum of 8000 Francs, a significant fortune at the time and a price in line with Breguet’s most complicated and special pieces.

Regarded as a Breguet masterpiece and remaining in superbly well preserved and original condition, the reappearance of this exceptional equation of time watch after decades in an important private European collection provides collectors and devotees of Breguet watches with the increasingly rare opportunity to obtain one of the most sophisticated and desirable watches ever made by the famed house. In addition to being one of the few watches made with equation of time function, a great rarity in itself, Breguet No. 3832 has the extra complications of day, date and month calendar. Within Breguet’s total production between 1790 and 1830, only fifteen watches with equation of time were made. The equation is obtained simply by a cam of suitable shape which makes one complete turn each year. A pivoted lever, resting on its edge, by its rise and fall converts the rotation of the cam to the to and fro movement of the hand along the scale.

In addition to equation of time, this superlative watch includes some of Breguet’s other great horological achievements. Notably, the case is of slim construction, called ‘trés plat’ by Breguet, made in two main parts with an inner and detachable outer case. The outer case is fitted with the à tact hand and touch pieces for the hours on the band. The inner case must be taken out of the outer in order to use the repeating slide. The half-quarter repeater is a quarter repeating mechanism that strikes an extra blow on the gong if the minute hand is at or past the halfway point between the quarters. It gives the user better accuracy of up to seven and a half minutes either side of the last elapsed quarter hour.
A further significant technical feature of the present watch is fitted with Breguet’s final form of the lever escapement made from 1812 onwards developed for the purpose of enabling Breguet to produce a reliable watch with a close rate for everyday wear. The balance is made of a laminae of steel and a special silver/copper alloy which was apparently invented by Breguet and employed in only his best watches including the perpetuelles. The jewelled wheel train and escapement is another rare feature at the time even in one of Breguet's watches and is mentioned in the archives for watch No. 3832 as “echappement libre à ancre, tous les frottements ainsi que les principaux trous du rouage sont en rubis”.

Monsieur le Comte d'Archinto (1783-1861), Ambassador to the House of Austria
Although, he purchased other watches from Breguet, little biographical information is available on the life of the Comte d' Archinto (1783-1861). From a noble Milanese family, he was Ambassador to the House of Austria.

Equation of Time
For a watch with an equation mechanism, an indication of the date is always required because the equation varies continuously throughout the year. This information is useful when setting a watch to time given by a sundial. By adding or subtracting the equation for the day, as indicated by the hand, the sundial time could be corrected to mean time.

The equation of time in astronomy is the quantity that needs to be added or subtracted to switch from real time given by the sun, to the mean time; our time, which arbitrarily divided a day in 24 hours. The equation of time varies from one day to another, its value swings between around -16 to +16 minutes per day. By cumulating these differences, we obtain a variation between the real noon and the mean noon of more or less 15 minutes. The most important differences are, function of the years, toward February 12 (+14 minutes and 59 seconds) and November 3 (-16 minutes and 15 seconds). The difference is zero toward April 15, June 15, September 1 and December 24. Today, due to the summer time and the winter time, we live with a difference of two or three hours relative to the sun; our daily noon corresponding to the solar noon of Central Europe.

The equation of time also gives information about the equinoxes of spring (21 - 22 March) and autumn (22 - 23 September), as well as the solstices of summer (toward 21 June 21) and winter (toward 21 December). The equinox is the moment when the sun is on the plane of the equator, thus leading to days equal to nights. The solstice is the moment when the sun is in the farthest position from the equator, resulting in the longest day and the longest night. These dates determine the seasons of the year.

The equation indications used by Breguet are fully explained and illustrated by George Daniels in: 'The Art of Breguet' (1975), pp. 347-350, ill. 422, 423a-c.

Breguet’s Montre à Tact
The ‘montre à tact’ or ‘tactful watch’ was invented by Abraham Louis Breguet in the late 1790s during an epoch when it was unseemly to read the time in public. The ‘à tact’ system helped to discreetly tell the time in polite society without taking the watch out of your pocket. Breguet officially introduced the
‘montre à tact’ in spring 1799, these early watches were also called ‘médaillon à tact’ and destined to be worn on a chain around the neck which explains the absence of a bow. The present watch, sold in 1828, is highly unusual in being a very complicated watch with à tact feature.

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