Accompanied by Breguet Certificat No. 2692 dated 19 February 1926 confirming the sale of the present watch to Mr. Jean Dollfus. Furthermore delivered with the original fitted burgundy leather presentation box numbered 680.
According to the records of Montres Breguet SA in Paris, the present watch was originally made with an enamel dial with Roman numerals. On 1 October 1953, probably following Mr. Dollfus' death, Mrs Jean Dollfus returned the watch to Breguet in Paris. It was then fitted with the actual engine-turned gilt dial, most certainly upon request of Mr. McIlhenny to whom the watch was sold on 28 October 1953.
Jean-Jacques or Jean Dollfus and his brother Louis were most certainly descendents of the famous Dollfus family of industrialists originally from Mulhouse/France and founders of a textile manufacture specialized in needlework.
Jean was born in Paris in 1884, Louis in 1901. Both were passionate watch collectors and regular clients of Breguet. Their collections included mostly highly complicated pocket watches, such as the present one - clockwatches by Breguet, especially featuring a chronometer escapement, are extremely rare.
Other watches known to date sold by Breguet to Jean and Louis Dollfus include the following, listed after the sale dates:
No. 4420 sold to Jean Dollfus on 12 July 1922 for 6,500 Francs:
An 18K gold two train openface perpetual calendar keyless lever watch with phases of the moon, retrograde date indication, independent fly-forward chronograph and jumping 1/5ths of a second
No. 472 sold to Louis Dollfus on 31 May 1924 for 10,500 Francs:
An 18K gold openface centre seconds pocket chronometer with spring detent escapement and Guillaume balance
No. 680, the present watch, sold to Jean Dollfus on 19 February 1926 for 13,500 Francs
No. 1285 sold to Jean Dollfus on 25 August 1926 for 10,000 Francs:
An 18K white gold "Chronoscope" or "Wandering Hour" keyless lever dress watch
No. 4344 sold to Louis Dollfus on 26 March 1929 for 6,000 Francs:
An extra flat platinum openface keyless lever dress watch
No. 2170 sold to Louis Dollfus on 30 April 1929 for 6,500 Francs:
An 18K gold openface split seconds chronograph keyless lever watch with tachometer scale and instantaneous 60 minutes register
No. 1389 sold to Jean Dollfus on 11 July 1927 for 25,000 Francs:
An 18K gold openface keyless one minute tourbillon watch
No. 2516 sold to Jean Dollfus on 28 February 1934 for 11,000 Francs:
A unique 18K white gold wristwatch with instantaneous perpetual calendar and phases of the moon.
We are indebted to Mr. Emmanuel Breguet for his advise on the watches sold to Jean and Louis Dollfus.