In 1865, a watchmaker by the name of Charles Reuge settled in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland, to make musical pocket watches.
After several long and difficult years of elaboration, he manufactured between 1880 and 1883 several high quality musical watches for the oriental market. The movements were fitted with musical pinned cylinders, some of them with an automaton, a violin player for example.
In 1886 his son Albert took over and opened the first workshop for musical movements which has remained to this day in Sainte Croix.
The present watch is a fine example for one of these pieces and was retailed by P. Orr & Sons, Madras, the leading watch and clock shop in South India in the 19th century.
For a note on Charles Reuge and illustration of a similar watch see La Montre Chinoise by Alfred Chapuis, p. 221.