Gilt & enamel watch for Chinese market

Stock No. 1973

Juvet or Bovet Fleurier
Swiss, c1850
Silver gilt & enamel case, 40 mm
Lever escapement

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This is a beautiful small centre seconds watch, in a fine pearl set silver gilt case, with painted enamel to the back. It was made for the Chinese market probably by the Bovet Fleurier company, around 1850.

MOVEMENT : Highly engraved lever movement, fully jewelled, with steel ‘bat wing’ balance wheel. Excellent condition, with the gilding still bright. As is often seen on these watch movements, the steel ring at the centre of the mainspring barrel (stop work) is missing.

Signed in Chinese characters in an engraved oval near the hinge.

The movement is protected by an engraved silver hinged cuvette (cover). This engraving also includes Chinese characters to the centre. The cuvette is stamped with a serial number 5067.

The brass clip which snaps the cuvette to the movement has been repaired. However the cuvette still clips into the movement and flips open when the small steel stud is pressed in.

The movement is running well.

DIAL : A white enamel dial, in perfect condition. Centre seconds, and blued steel hands. All in fine condition.

CASE : This is a wonderful case in pearl set silver gilt and enamel.

The front bezel, back border, stem and bow are all set with tiny pearls. These are complete, with none missing or obviously damaged.

The back of the case is set with a charming enamel plaque, painted with a couple in conversation at a well head, with Swiss Alps in the background. This scene is surrounded by an inner border of green ivy leaves and an outer border of amber coloured guilloche enamel. The enamel is in very good condition, with just a few light surface scratches but no chips or repairs.

The main part of the case is of silver gilt, again in good condition, with some wear to the gilding (showing the silver) on the font bezel, back border and inside of the back. There is a slight bruise to the milled case band, near the cuvette hinge.

The hinge is fine and the back cover opens when the button on the stem is pressed. It also snaps shut correctly. The crystal is perfect.

This watch was probably made in Switzerland by the Juvet company, or by Bovet Fleurier.