Lot No. 565 (91st Auction)
Victor Pihl, St. Petersburg, Movement No. 62, Case No. 62, 59 mm, 187 g, circa 1870

A deck chronometer with 24h power reserve indicator
Case: silver, polished, engraving on the back lid: "B.T.O.N. 186/22103", case maker's punch mark "JO" (James Oliver, London). Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, auxiliary seconds, blued spade hands. Movm.: full plate movement, frosted, gilt, chatoned, keywind, chain/fusee, spring detent escapement according to Thomas Earnshaw, heavy bimetallic chronometer balance with gold and platinum screws, freesprung blued helical balance spring, chatoned diamond endstone on balance.

As to the signature "B.T.O.N. 186- 22103" on the back cover, we can only assume that it is an observatory designation like that on a pocket chronometer no. 483 by A. Ericsson, St. Petersburg, - that piece also carries the inscription "B.T.O.N. 43/16780" on tis back.

The brothers Pihl
The name Pihl stands for a number of excellent watchmakers who came, with one exception, from Pojo in the Finnish province of Nyland and worked in St. Petersburg.
Bernhard Wilhelm Pihl first worked for the London company E. Dent as agent in the Russian capital but soon took over representation of Victor Kullberg as well. One of his watches (no. 20) is owned by the Eremitage. Bernhard Wilhelm Pihl died in 1860 and it seems that all his businesses were taken over by his brother Gustav Victor Pihl (born in 1846, also in Pojo).
It is likely that Gustav Victor Pihl continued his brother’s numbering in his own watches. We know the numbers 63 (1870, Kullberg no. 1884), 66 (1871, Kullberg no. 2118), 67 (1871, Kullberg no. 2139) and 68 (1871, Kullberg no. 2231). Our "Pihl No. 62" fits perfectly into that line because on its dial plate it carries the number "1896", which is the number this pocket chronometer was produced with by Victor Kullberg in London! From the year dates that go with the numbers we see that it was not Bernhard Wilhelm Pihl (as Mercer states in "Chronometer Makers"), but Gustav Victor Pihl who bought and finished these timepieces (including our no. 62); he probably worked on the watches together with his other brother Anders Victor Pihl, born 1836 in Pojo.
There is little doubt that the brothers Pihl did not just add an extra charge on the watches bought in England and sold them on; being chronometer makers, they surely worked on the watches to optimize their technology and general performance.
Estimate  3,500 - 4,500 €

Price Realised  6,700 €
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