The present watch is an extremely fine example of a one minute tourbillon pocket chronometer most certainly made by Frédéric-Louis Favre-Bulle. Although unsigned, its movement and dial layout featuring a Réaumur thermometer are almost identical to the example illustrated in Reinhard Meis' "Das Tourbillon", pl. 57 - 60, pp. 114 & 115. Also fitted with Houriet's patented gold spherical hairspring, a steel tourbillon carriage with heavy two-arm compensation balance and a bimetallic thermometer curb, it can be assumed that the present ébauche was made by him. The case of this impressive timepiece is stamped PBT for Pierre Benjamin Tavernier. The renowned case maker located in Paris supplied his exceptional cases to the most famous watchmakers of the time, notably Abraham-Louis Breguet (see lot 219 in this auction), Ferdinand Berthoud and others.
Frédéric Louis Favre-Bulle (1770-1849), son of a watchmaker, was apprenticed by a master finisher and specialized in the development and manufacture of escapements. Between 1795 and 1797 he was trained by Jacques-Frédéric Houriet and also made watch trains for Houriet's manufacture Courvoisier & Houriet.
In 1809 Favre-Bulle settled in Le Locle and became a renowned specialist in chronometry, marine chronometry as well as one of the principal makers of tourbillon watches, a specialty of the region. In the years to come he developed and constructed several devices, amongst them a remarkably refined scale to weigh the hairsprings he used in his chronometers and an instrument to determine the correct time by observing the passage of the stars. He was also appointed as an expert during the first watch contest of the Patriotic Emulation Society in 1828 and, together with Jules Jürgensen, during a watch spring competition.
Together with Jacques-Frédéric Houriet, Frédéric-Louis Favre-Bulle is considered one of the watchmakers who contributed the most in the progress in chronometry and the development of the watch industry in the region of Neuchâtel.
For a note on Jacques-Frédéric Houriet see lot 229 in this auction.