The present watch is a fine example of an automaton watch made by one of Geneva's most celebrated makers of the period, featuring three automatons: one cooper planing, the second one hammering on a stave of a barrel while simultaneously a stream of water is realistically running from the fountain.
The vari-colour gold scene is of fine quality and impresses by the delicately carved details, enhanced by the beautifully painted enamel background view, demonstrating the celebrated art of enamel miniatures originating from Geneva in the early 19th century.
The master watchmaker Louis Duchêne (1730-1804) of Geneva was renowned for his automata and repeating watches. As of 1791 his son was taken into partnership, the firm becoming "Louis Duchêne & Fils". Father and son excelled in the manufacture of finely enamelled form watches and watches with all conceivable complications such as minute repeating, Petite et Grande Sonnerie, date, jump hours, but were probably best known for their extraordinary automata watches which they also supplied to China.
Different watches and automata signed Ls Duchêne & Fils are illustrated in Technique and History of the Swiss Watch by Eugène Jaquet and Alfred Chapuis, plates 74, 87, 102 and 110. The firm is furthermore mentioned in La Montre Chinoise by Alfred Chapuis, p. 65.