The pendule à la Geoffrin is named after Madame Geoffrin, whose salon on the rue Saint-Honoré was one of the intellectual centres of Paris. Until the publication of research by Christian Baulez revealing the exact origins of this enduringly popular model, the two clocks supplied by the marchand-mercier Lazare Duvaux to the duc de Bourgogne on 14 October 1758 -- une pendule sonnerie de J. Le Roy, compos d'une couchée représentant l'Etude en bronze d'or moulu -- and to the comte du Luc on 9 November had always been considered to be the earliest examples recorded (C. Baulez, 'La Pendule à la Geoffrin: Un Modèle à Succès', L'Estampille - L'Objet d'Art, April 1989, pp.34-41). However, as early as 1757 the marquis de Marigny had already acquired a clock of this model, with a movement by Musson, through Madame Geoffrin.
In 1768 Madame Geoffrin gave 'une pendule pareille la mienne' to Denis Diderot, which survives in the Musée du Breuil de Saint-Germain at Langres. Other members of Madame Geoffrin's circle who owned 'une pendule à l'Emploi du Temps' included the banker Jean-Joseph de Laborde, the duc de la Vrillière and Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill. Walpole's clock, which he bought for £50 before 1774, was sold, Christie's London, 23 June 1999, lot 120.
The duc de Choiseul owned an example which can be seen in the miniature by van Blarenberghe on the Choiseul Box, circa 1770-1, showing the cabinet octagone in the hôtel de Choiseul in Paris. A further example was sold in the Blondel de Gagny sale (P. Rimy, Paris, 10-24 December 1776 and 8-22 January 1777).
Interestingly, the plinths of some examples bear the stamp of Joseph Baumhauer, including that owned by Walpole and the clock in the Wallace Collection (F.J.B. Watson, Wallace Collection Catalogues: Furniture, London, 1956, F267, plate 55), which has a frieze mount of the Lalive de Jully model. The Wallace collection clock -- also by Ferdinand Berthoud -- has springs dated 9 October 1768, enabling precise dating. It has a patinated bronze figure, in contrast to the ormolu of the present clock.
See also P. Kjellberg, L'Encyclopédie de La Pendule Française, Paris, 1997, p. 263, pl. B and J-D. Augarde, Les Ouvriers du Temps, Geneva, 1996, p. 91, fig. 54.