An early and large French ‘oignon’ verge, with single handed movement, mock pendulum escapement and silver champleve dial.
MOVEMENT : Gilt verge escapement, with a large and beautifully engraved solid balance bridge, showing birds, foliage and scrolls. A window in the bridge shows the mock pendulum. Small gilt regulator disk, also beautifully engraved. Very tall Egyptian pillars.
The movement is wound anticlockwise through the dial. The hour wheel is driven directly from the fusee wheel of the movement train (no central wheel as with a two handed watch). The single hand is set from the central square in the dial.
Signed “I. Rousseau, a Orleans”.
Some rubbing and scratches to the plate, but otherwise in good condition and running well.
DIAL : Fine silver champleve dial with Roman numerals and half hour markers.
The centre engraved with birds and scrolls.
In good condition, with just some losses to the black infill.
Blued steel hand.
CASE : A silver case, with concentric engraved circles to the back. Square hinge.
In nice condition throughout.
The stem and bow appear to be original, and the hinges are fine. The bezel shuts correctly and the high dome crystal is fine.
Tardy (Dictionnaire des Horlogers Français, p. 575) lists a Jean and a Jacques Rousseau as active in Orléans – the latter being so between 1695 and 1736. A watch by Jacques Rousseau from the Orléans museum is illustrated, showing a very similar arrangement of concentric circles to the back and another shows a similar mock pendulum balance cock. So our watch is probably by Jacques.
PROVENANCE : From the Masterworks of Time Collection.
This was the very prestigious collection of German billionaire Erivan Haub, who spent 50 years collecting the finest watches from all periods. He died in 2018.