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Louis Moinet. A rare, large and usual silver "Compteur de tierces" counter in the shape of a watch displaying the accuracy of the sixtieth of a second
Louis Moinet. A rare, large and usual silver "Compteur de tierces" counter in the shape of a watch displaying the accuracy of the sixtieth of a second

SIGNED LOUIS MOINET, PARIS, CIRCA 1820/1830

Details
Louis Moinet. A rare, large and usual silver "Compteur de tierces" counter in the shape of a watch displaying the accuracy of the sixtieth of a second
Signed Louis Moinet, Paris, circa 1820/1830
25''' gilded brass movement, with fusée and chain, cylinder escapement with 32 teeth flat escape wheel, balance with screws, blued steel flat balance spring, high frequency, silver dial, with subsidiary dials and blue steel hands, silver circular four body case, bayonet bezel, start and stop functions activated by depressing the buttons in the band, dial signed
64.7 mm. diam.

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Lot Essay

With fitted brown leather box.

This Compteur de tierces is described by Louis Moinet in his Nouveau traité général élémentaire, pratique et théorique d'horlogerie (Paris, second edition, 1860), vol. II, pp. 430-431, No. 1531. He relates that he invented it to improve his astronomical observations. The obvious advantage of this instrument was the degree of accuracy, higher than the one of any other timekeeper of the period.

Louis Moinet (1768-1853
Louis Moinet born into a prosperous family of farmers in Bourges, France, was a celebrated horologist, sculptor and painter. As a maker of precision instruments, he perfected various techniques in this field and developed several important new improvements. To enhance his astronomical observations, he invented a sensational instrument: a counter in the shape of a watch displaying 60ths of a second. The obvious advantage was a degree of superior to any other time measurement. One of its particularly original features was a jewelled escapement with very high frequency, without any trace of wear nor increased friction during prolonged used.

Louis Moinet is also renowned for his famous Traité d'Horlogerie, published in 1848 and widely reputed to be one of the finest book on horology of the century. Comprising descriptions of highest watchmaking techniques, it was appreciated by the great watchmakers of his era such as Frodsham, Perrelet, Saunier and Winnerl, as well as by several other scholars and connoisseurs such as HRH Prince Alexander of Orange - all of whom appear on the list of the numerous subscribers to a book that was reprinted three times and circulated as far afield as Russia. Louis Moinet devoted twenty years of his life to writing this two-volume treatise, which remains highly sought after to this day.

The work of Louis Moinet consisted in giving life and soul to matter. Dedicated to excellence and extremely modest by nature, Louis Moinet was driven by the ambition to improve his art rather instead of a desire for commercial profit - the reason why he freely shared his ingenious ideas with his fellow watchmakers. Acknowledged by his peers as a good-hearted man of outstanding intellect, he died in Paris on 21 May 1853 at the age of 85.

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