Early Paris Single Handed Verge

Stock No. 1728

Zacharie Martinot
Paris, c1690
Gilt case, 55 mm.
Verge escapement, single handed movement


An early and large French ‘oignon’ verge, with single handed movement and enamel dial.

MOVEMENT : Gilt verge escapement, with a large and beautifully pierced balance bridge, showing foliage and scrolls. Unusually the very large balance wheel has four spokes. Four long baluster pillars.

The movement is wound anticlockwise through the dial. The hand is driven directly from the fusee wheel of the movement train (no central wheel as with a two handed watch).

Signed “Zacharie Martinot a Paris”.

Some rubbing and scratches to the plate, but otherwise in good condition and running well.

DIAL : A white contoured enamel dial, with black numerals and quarter hour markers.

In good condition, with some light hairlines from the edge at 7 and 12, another from the centre towards 1, and a little damage around the opening catch at 6.

Steel hand, not original but of the correct style and period.

CASE : A plain gilt brass case.

In nice condition throughout. Although much of the gilding has worn away, and there is a little wear to the hinges, there are no significant dents and the bezel snaps shut nicely.
The stem and bow appear to be original. The high dome crystal is good, with just one small nibble right on the edge at 8, not visible from the front.

The watch is early for an enamel dial and could be an early replacement (there are extra holes in the dial plate), but several similar dial examples of the same period are illustrated in ‘La Montre Francaise’ by Adolphe Chapiro, including some with this contoured enamel.

Zacharie Martinot (II) was a watchmaker from the famous French family dynasty of watchmakers whose presence is recorded from the 16th century. Zacharie (II), son of Etienne, is recorded as Fils De Maitre (Son of a Master) from 1692. He produced watches into the 18th century, but this movement with the exceptionally large balance is an early example..