Distinguished by its large size, the understated case material silver, very good overall condition and the provenance, this triple complication is a highly rare and interesting timepiece.
It represents the state of the art in watch manufacturing from the heydays of complicated, uniting the three main complications established at that time: the perpetual calendar for the astronomical indications, the chronograph for timing purposes, and the distinct minute repeating for the time indication in the dark, all crucial functions for an explorer such as its presumably first owner, the heroic, self-sacrificing missionary and explorer François Coillard.
According to the inscription of the cuvette, the watch was offered to François Coillard "in loving memory by some friends" in 1898. He then bequeathed his Mathey-Tissot to his fellow missionary Alfred Boegner.
François Coillard Francis (1834-1904) was a Protestant missionary sent by the Society of Paris Evangelical Missionary (SMEP) to Basutoland (now Lesotho) to reinforce a team established there since 1830. He is best known as the founder of "Mission to the Zambezi" in Barotseland, a region now in Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia).
He was most likely succeeded by the French Pastor Alfred Boegner (1851 - 1912), who was sent by the Society of Paris Evangelical Missionary (SMEP) to Basutoland in 1883.
The watch was made by Mathey-Tissot, founded in 1886 by Edmond Mathey-Tissot at Les Ponts-de-Martel in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. He specialized in complications, particularly repeating pocket watches, soon followed by perpetual calendars and chronographs with which he won numerous prizes.
In 1899, the outbreak of the Second Boer War in South Africa led to such an expansion in demand for Mathey-Tissot watches that a new factory was built.
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 by the United Kingdom against the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic) and the Orange Free State, which included Basutoland, region in which the two missionaries were active.