Lot No. 423 (89th Auction)
Cartier à Paris "Eclipse", Case No. 3154, Movement No. 3154, 47 mm, 66 g, circa 1918

A gentleman's important, very fine and thin minute repeating pocket watch with concealed dial and shutter mechanism, unique and historic timepiece made by Cartier as a gift to the Russian Imperial court at the time of Tsar Nicolaus II. - with original red Cartier leather box with embossed Russian double-headed eagle and Cartier extract from the archives
Case: 18k gold, polished, concealed dial opening by two glazed shutters, decorated with a blue enamelled monogram "OHC" (Otis H. Cutler), beneath an engraved presentation monogram "from H.P.D." (Henry Pomeroy Davison), engraved date 1919 beneath the pendant, the back side decorated with a translucent red enamel cross on a white ground, reeded band, sunk slide for repeating mechanism, push back. Dial: silver, engine-turned, radial Roman hours, blued Breguet hands. Movm.: bridge movement, frosted, gilt, 2 hammers, 2 gongs, gold screw compensation balance.

From the archives of Cartier we know that the watch was originally ordered by a Belgian, probably as a gift for a member of the Russian Imperial family, and even before the tragedy of 17 July 1918, in which the Tsar Nicolaus II and the entire Imperial family were executed. The Imperial family was involved in the Russian Red Cross, which is obvious from the order of the famous "Red Cross Egg" by Fabergé in 1915 with portraits of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and her 2 eldest daughters (now in the Lillian Thomas Pratt Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts).
Due to the circumstances of the Russian Revolution the timepiece was never delivered and remained in the stock of Cartier.
From the archives of Cartier we learned that the blue enamel initials "OHC" were added to the watch on request of the final purchaser, Mr. Henry Pomeroy Davison on 13 May 1919.
Henry Pomeroy Davison was a well known figure in the high financial world, he was a partner in JP Morgan Bank in New York and president of the American Red Cross. As President of the Red Cross he was involved in a mission to Russia in 1917 and travelled to France in the spring of 1919, where he bought the Cartier timepiece and requested to put the initials of his main employee and right-hand man, Mr. Otis H. Cutler to whom the watch was presented.
Estimate  50,000 - 60,000 €
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