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Lot No. 551
Estimate  22,000 - 30,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!

Adolf Kittel, Altona

, Movement No. 235, Case No. 235, 58 mm, 163 g, circa 1890

An important, extremely rare deck chronometer with 54h power reserve indication

Case: silver. Dial: enamel. Movm.: 3/4 plate movement, Stuebner's pivoted detent escapement with short Glashuette detent, freesprung helical balance spring, heavy gold screw chronometer balance.

A chronometer of very similar design is illustrated and described in Klassik Uhren, "Glashütte damals, Teil II" by Waldemar Becker, Christian Pfeiffer-Belli, Edition 3/92, Munich 1992, p. 15. However, the movement of that watch no. 303 (which bears the signature "A. Kittel, Altona" on the dial) was made by Fridolin Stübner in Glashütte and has been signed accordingly. This chronometer probably came from the property of Adolf Kittel’s grandson.

Adolf Kittel was born 1845 in Aurich and later went to Altona. In 1877 several of his clocks had already been awarded prizes in Hamburg and Altona; they also regularly took part in the naval observatory’s chronometer tests. Kittel’s specialities were for example chronometers without fusee, a new chronometer escapement and an auxiliary mechanism to balance temperature variations; for pendulum clocks Kittel designed his own free escapement and a barometer compensation for air pressure changes, which was fitted to the pendulum.
Kittel also delivered a number of astronomical pendulum clocks to German and foreign observatories. At the industrial exhibition 1889 in Hamburg he exhibited an astronomical pendulum clock which was later owned by the Hamburg observatory (Kittel no. 25).
Kittel closed his workshop in Altona in 1911 and sold his remaining chronometers with help from Schorr. However, during the war and the recession afterwards his savings were soon eaten up and in 1919 he moved to Aurich to live with his family. Kittel’s economic situation as well as his health kept deteriorating and he died on October 4, 1921.

Fridolin Stuebner was the most important maker of chronometers in Glashuette. Herkner remarks: "Lang’s continued success at the important chronometer tests of the Hamburg observatory began with the marine chronometers regulated by Fridolin Stuebner ".
Source: "Glashuette und seine Uhren" by Kurt Herkner, Dormagen 1978.
Case: very good
Dial: very good
Movm.: very good, capable of running, cleaning recommended

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