Late 17th century verge alarm watch

Stock No. 1575

François Mercier
Paris, c1680
Gilt & shagreen pair cases, 57 mm.
Verge, alarm movement


A late 17thc century, single handed, verge alarm in gilt and shagreen pair cases, with fine original champleve dial.

MOVEMENT : A single handed gilt verge alarm movement. Beautifully engraved and pierced plates and large winged balance cock. Engraved alarm barrel, small silver regulator disk and four Egyptian pillars.

The steel alarm mechanism strikes the bell with a double hammer.

Signed ‘François Mercier’.

There are two winding arbors, through the dial, one which winds the fusee, and the other winds the alarm strike barrel.

The movement is in fine condition, complete and original, and is running well. The alarm functions correctly.

DIAL : Fine gilt champleve dial, with central alarm disk.

Excellent condition throughout.

The single hand (which is attached to the alarm disk) is set by turning (clockwise) the disk.

The alarm is set by turning the central arbor (again clockwise) until the central pointer indicates the alarm time required on the disk.

INNER CASE : Engraved and pierced gilt brass, with mounted steel bell.
The band is beautifully engraved with foliage and birds, including an owl.

Nice condition with just some wear to the gilding. The stem, bow and very high dome crystal are all in fine condition. The hinge is good and the bezel closes correctly.

The bell, screwed to the inside, is perfect with no damage or repairs. It is a cast bell, with the foundry mark on the back (the ’84’ is possibly the year ?).

OUTER CASE : Gilt brass with shagreen & leather covering.

The back is covered with a black shagreen, and gold pin work to the centre and around the edge. Six pins missing.

The bezel is covered by black leather, so is probably a replacement (originally shagreen) but is a very good match. Just a small section of the leather missing at the hinge.

The hinge and catch are fine.

The watch comes complete with a contemporary key on a steel chain. The key shows a charming image of a dog watching two butterflies.

François Mercier is listed in Paris, in the late 17th century.