With later silver and shagreen outer travelling case and silver key.
The present watch was made by Jean Hubert, a member of the notable clockmaking family Hubert of Rouen, one of the earliest and most important families of clockmakers in France, tracing their origins back to Noël Hubert around 1617. Watches and clocks made by members of the Hubert family can be found in the world's most important museums and collections.
This watch is one of the exceedingly few surviving watches fitted with the exceptionally early balance spring, however without a fusée. The rarity is further enhanced by the additional complication of the alarm function.
Its spring is regulated by steel bar fixed by two pins to the balance cock's side. The end coil of the balance spring is attached to a lever underneath the bar, the length shortened by sliding it in one direction, hence increasing the balance's oscillation rate and making the timepiece gain time.
The addition of the balance spring to the balance wheel invented around 1657 by Robert Hooke and Christian Huygens greatly increased the accuracy of portable timepieces, transforming early pocket watches from expensive novelties to useful timekeepers.
The French watchmaker Jacques Gloria of Dieppe reputedly produced the first watch without a fusée, believing that with the increased precision achieved by using the newly invented balance spring, it would no longer needed, saving both time and effort in the construction of the movement. It was however soon discovered that the advance of the balance spring was annulled by the caprices of the rather crude mainsprings available. For a short period, Gloria's example was followed by several other watch- and clockmakers of Rouen, Dieppe, Caen and Abbeville, but the idea survived only a few years.