With Breguet Notice No. 991 dated 30 September 1825 including detailed description and instructions for use and original fitted burgundy Morocco presentation box No. 4039 containing a spare crystal. The Notice describes the watch as a flat half quarter repeating watch, on the principles of chronometers, "première classe" or first class, with "quantième" (calendar), silver and gold case, lever movement set with rubies, elastic double suspension on the regulator pivot, compensation balance, chain with carabiner, additional crystal, all in a red Morocco box, sold to Milord Duc de Berwick for the amount of 5,000 Francs, paid in cash.
Furthermore delivered with hand-written and typed transcripts in English taken from the Notice, summarizing the main components of the watch as well as the instructions for the setting of the calendar, activating of the repeating and winding of the movement.
Watch no. 4039 was purchased by the father of the present owners at public auction on 21st May 1973, lot 220, and has remained in the same private collection ever since. Of outstanding quality and noble provenance, graced with the attractive two-colour case, preserved in very appealing, original overall condition and still retaining the original Notice and presentation box, the timepiece offered here for sale pays tribute to the genius of Abraham-Louis Breguet, perhaps the most outstanding horologist of all times.
It is an exceptional example of one of Breguet's extra slim repeating timepieces made "sur les principles des chronomètres" (on the principles of chronometers), distinguished by their unparalleled quality and elegance. Breguet introduced the final form of his repeating watches, the "montres à répétition sur les principes des chronomètres", in 1810, representing the ultimate grade of his repeating watches. These remarkable timepieces featured fully jewelled lever escapements and quarter or half-quarter repeating mechanisms, compensation balances with pare-chute suspensions, silver engine-turned dials and engine-turned gold cases - some, like the present watch, the additional complication of the date indication. The extra slimness was provided by the omission of a cuvette, the rotating back exposing the winding aperture for male key-winding. The average price of the ordinary repeater was between 1,400 and 2,500 Francs, chronometer models fetched between 3,500 and 4,800 Francs - underlining the importance of the present watch sold for 5,000 Francs. This impressive amount reflects not only the superior quality of its cases and movement but also Breguet's last development for the activation of the repeating, the slide in the band instead of the pull-piece in the pendant as well as the date function, indicated on a rotating disk and set through the small corrector button in the band near the pendant: when pressed the date hand jumps by half a day steps.