Christoph Matthäus Hahn à Echterdingen, Case No. *H*27, 61 mm, 126 g, circa 1790-1792
A gentleman's important astronomical German pocket watch of museum quality Case: silver, tiered, polished, large lateral hinge. Dial: enamel, signed "Hahn Echterd." and marked "Elles sont toutes Marquèes" ("they are all marked"), outer black Arabic numerals for the indication of the centre seconds with blued seconds pointer; three subsidiary chapter rings: the date and the weekdays at "10", hours and minutes with Arabic numerals at "2", the moon phases in combination with the time from moonrise to moonset; the last is divided into quarters of the night (red Roman numerals on the left half of the dial, black Roman numerals on the right half) at "6", gilt hands. Movm.: full plate movement, firegilt, signed, seconds stop device, conical movement pillars, open barrel, florally pierced and engraved balance bridge with regulator scale, large five-arm brass balance, horizontal cylinder escapement, facetted garnet endstone on balance.
A note after his father’s death states that Christoph made "a fine silver calendar watch". It is quite possible that this note refers to the watch we have here, which would mean it dates from 1790-1792.
Christoph Matthaeus Hahn (1767-1833) Christoph Matthaeus Hahn, a Court Mechanician in Stuttgart, came from relatively prominent and wealthy family with roots going back to the 16th century. He was the eldest son of the famous Philipp Matthaeus Hahn. Christoph is best known for his calculating machines which he made along with his father, and on his own, after his fathers death. Their calculating machines are considered the predecessors of the modern computers and the name Hahn is found in all the books about the history of computers. Besides making early computers, Christoph (as well as his father) made a few calendar clocks and watches. Only a few are known to exist; one in The British Museum, one in La Chaux-de-Fonds Museum, one was in the former Time Museum in Rockford, USA, and three or four have been on the antiquarian market within the past fifteen years. In 1790 Christoph was nominated as the Court Mechanician in Stuttgart. There are a number of books dedicated to the Hahns, one of the gymnasiums in Echterdingen is named after Hahn, the 225th anniversary of the birth of Philipp Matthaeus Hahn was celebrated with an exhibition in Stuttgart with two-volume catalog, there is an entire museum devoted to the Hahns in Albstadt. The importance and the genius of the Hahns may be best demonstrated by the fact that in 1793, George III of Great Britain, needing a present for the Chinese emperor Chien-lung, chose not a British product but an extraordinary astronomical calendar clock made by the German Hahn.
Estimate 55,000 - 75,000 €
Price Realised 69,200 €
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