Henri Grandjean & Cie., Le Locle, No. 29708, Case No. 16865, 62 mm, 278 g, circa 1890
A remarkable, very fine and heavy astronomical splendour four colour gold dual time hunting case pocket watch with quarter repeater, chronograph, indications for weekday and month, retrograde date, moon age and moon phase - made for the Indian market Case: 18k gold, "à quatre couleurs", à goutte, lavishly chased and engraved overall with elaborate foliage, the covers with four colour high relief decoration of iris flowers cartouche, numbered, signed and engine-turned gold dome, case maker's punch mark "LG", slide for repeating mechanism, glazed movement. Dial: enamel, inner ring with radial Roman hours, outer ring with Arabic dual time and chronograph, auxiliary seconds, aperture for cobalt blue enamelled golden moon phase disc with golden moon and stars, retrograde date, retrograde moon age, two subsidiary dials for indications of the weekday and the month, spade hands. Movm.: bridge movement, signed, nickel-plated, "fausses côtes" decoration, 37 jewels, finely ground, bevelled chronograph steel parts, ratchet wheel, 2 hammers, 2 gongs, gold train, wolfteeth winding wheels, gold screw compensation balance, counterpoised lever.
What we have here is the perfect result of a master goldsmith and a gifted case maker working together on a watch case. The intricate piece consists of some 27 individual parts and boasts four colour high relief ornamentation of the finest quality. The cases made in Le Locle were among the finest and most exquisite in the whole country and famous for their elaborate gold work and engraving. This type of case was usually produced for the Spanish and South American market.
Henri Grandjean (1803-1889) Swiss chronometer maker . Henri Grandjean was born in Le Locle on December 14, 1803. From 1824 until 1830 he was assigned the task of organizing the South American branches of his father’s company; in 1830 his brother Henri Gustave emigrated to Peru and was from then on in charge of these businesses. Henri Grandjean trained as a watchmaker in his home town. Around 1830 his factory "Henri Grandjean & Cie." began to build ship’s chronometers that were modelled on the English chronometers. His business partner was Edouard Thévenaz; together with Louis Jean Richard and Ulysse Nardin Grandjean was the originator of the Swiss marine chronometer production. In 1831 Grandjean married Elise Montandon, the daughter of Isaac Pierre. He was granted permission to open watchmaking schools and founded the observatory at Neuchâtel. Later Grandjean went into politics and became representative and prefect of the city of Le Locle. In La-Chaux-de-Fonds he worked for the establishment of the Quartier-Neuf, which was finally built in 1855; his intention was to eliminate real estate speculation and to create low priced housing for working-class families. A street in Le Locle was named after him - the Rue Henri-Grandjean. Henri Grandjean died on March 21, 1889 in Le Locle. Source: http://watch-wiki.org/index.php?title=Grandjean,_Henri, as of 03/31/2014
Estimate 120,000 - 150,000 €
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