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Louis Audemars. A fine and rare 18K gold hunter case minute repeating perpetual calendar keyless lever chronograph watch with moon phases
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Louis Audemars. A fine and rare 18K gold hunter case minute repeating perpetual calendar keyless lever chronograph watch with moon phases

SIGNED L. AUDEMARS, BRASSUS, SUISSE, NO. 14'261, CIRCA 1880

Details
Louis Audemars. A fine and rare 18K gold hunter case minute repeating perpetual calendar keyless lever chronograph watch with moon phases
Signed L. Audemars, Brassus, Suisse, no. 14'261, circa 1880
Mechanical fully jewelled keyless lever movement, repeating on two steel hammers, gold cuvette, white enamel dial, Roman numerals, outer railway Arabic five minute divisions, four subsidiary dials for month and leap year, day, date and moon phases with lunar calendar and constant seconds, circular engine-turned case, engraved inscription Hommage au Dr. Grinda Mars 1905 E.J.M. to the inside of the front cover, repeating slide and chronograph button in the band, case stamped with Louis Audemars' hallmarks and numbered, cuvette and movement signed and numbered, dial signed
56 mm. diam.
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On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

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Lot Essay

The present watch is a very fine example of a complicated timepiece made by Louis Audemars, furthermore preserved in very good, original overall condition.

The case is stamped with his shield-shaped hallmarks (see Louis-Benjamin Audemars - His Life and Work by Hartmut Zantke, pp. 182 - 187). For a comparable watch sold by Louis Audemars to Breguet in 1882, however without the chronograph function, see p. 408, op. cit.

Louis-Benjamin Audemars
The celebrated watch manufacture was founded in 1811 by Louis-Benjamin Audemars (1782-1833) and his sons in Le Brassus, Switzerland. Louis-Benjamin was one of Switzerland's most eminent watchmakers, a creative genius, perfectionist and immensely hard worker. Following his apprenticeship with Philippe Samuel Meylan he worked for about two years as a "master pupil" for Breguet before establishing his own company. After Louis-Benjamin's death in 1833 his sons continued the business until 1885 when the firm was liquidated.

The manufacture made high quality pocket watches and invented various systems, notably a crown winding and hand setting mechanism in 1838; between 1838 and 1845, around 41 movements fitted with this invention were delivered to Patek in Geneva. Some of Louis Audemars' watches are among the most complicated timepieces ever made and were awarded with the highest distinctions at several 19th Century World Exhibitions.

During the 74 years of existence, the manufacture produced only some 9,000 watches corresponding to an average of 120 watches a year.

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