Late 17thc. French ‘Oignon’ Pocket Watch

Stock No. 1968

Jean Richard
France, c1690
Gilt case 56 mm.
Verge, single hand


An early French ‘oignon’ verge, with single handed movement.

MOVEMENT : Gilt verge movement, with a beautifully engraved and pierced balance bridge. Silver regulator disk, applied brackets and signature plate.


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

Fine condition, although possibly with a piece (left hand side) of the ornamental bracket in front of the potence missing. Running well.

DIAL : A very nice and quite unusual gilt and white enamel dial, with blue & white enamel cartouche chapter ring. The inner enamel chapter shows quarter markers (typical for a single handed watch). The centre also of white enamel which is unusual.

In nice condition, though the 6 cartouche has been replaced and repaired (the numeral is black though the others are dark blue). There are some light hairlines radiating from the centre across the white enamel

The dial is held to the movement with one pinned dial foot. There are two other dial feet, unused as they are worn short, although the dial is held firmly.

Very nice blued steel hand, which could be original. The central pinion holding the hand has been filled with a blue enamel/resin to match the chapter, but this is not original.

CASE : A gilt brass case, with shutter to the winding aperture. In good condition though with a few very small dents to the back and wear to the gilding on the back.
The stem and bow both appear to be original. The hinge is fine and the bezel closes nicely. The high dome bull’s eye crystal is fine.