The present watch is a fine example of a watch featuring a Pouzait-type slow beat lever escapement with the additional complication of a stoppable centre seconds hand. The whirling movement of its large, diamond-set balance render it a very unusual yet appealing look.
During the last quarter of the 18th century, several watchmakers experimented with watches featuring dead centre seconds hands, very popular in the scientific community and in the Chinese market. The attempt made by Moïse Pouzait (Geneva, 1743 - 1793) included a lever escapement linked with a large seconds-beating balance. Due to its spectacular look and in spite of its inertia sensitivity, Pouzait's escapement was much appreciated by the Chinese, prior to the invention of Jacot's so-called "Chinese duplex" escapement, facilitating the production of dead centre seconds watches. In 1786 Jean Moïse Pouzait presented a model of his lever escapement to the Geneva Society of Arts, rendering him among the first watchmakers introducing the lever escapement to the Continent.