James-C. Pellaton Dr. h.c., Le Locle, Movement No. 1860, watch: height 17 mm, diameter 53 mm, box: 116 x 116 x 98 mm, circa 1948
An important, small table chronometer with one-minute tourbillon produced in a small series of about 10 pieces
Case: two-part, polished, mahogany, set brass spandrells, hinged handles, brass inner case and gimbals laquered with zapon, polished steel bearing screws, three-part 18k gold case, planar glazed on both sides, gold mountings, gold winding crown. Dial: enamel, set, Breguet numerals, auxiliary seconds, blued Breguet hands. Movm.: bridge movement, rhodium-plated, "fausses côtes" decoration, gold-chatoned, finely skeletonized, polished and executed cage, polished counterpoised lateral lever, regulator with graduated gold arc, two-arm Guillaume balance with 18000 oscillations/h, gold weight and adjusting screws, blued Breguet balance spring, signed, engraved dedication: "Fabriqué spécialement pour Samuel Glauser".
Lit.: Three identical examples are described and illustrated in Reinhard Meis "Das Tourbillon" Edition Callwey, pages 326-329.
Jämes Cäsar Pellaton (known as James C. Pellaton) was born in Le Locle in 1873 and is considered to be one of the most important makers of tourbillon carriages in the 20th century. His teacher was his own father Albert Pellaton-Favre (1832-1914), who was a renowned maker of tourbillons himself.
Together James and Albert Pellaton produced more than 35 tourbillons for Patek Philippe alone; these marvellous timekeepers combine unsurpassed technical superiority with outstanding beauty and craftsmanship in addition to outstanding precision.
James Pellaton dedicated his life to the development of tourbillons; in 1923 he created the smallest tourbillon watch of his time - it had a diameter of only 23.7 mm; the watch is today held by the Museum of Horlogy in Le Locle. Pellaton was also a teacher at the Technicum in Le Locle and his exceptional horological knowledge together with his teaching skills made him an outstanding teacher who contributed much to the excellent reputation of the school. He became its director in 1925 and held the position until he retired in 1939.
Pellaton was awarded several titles and honours for his work in the field of horology; one of them was "Doctor Honoris Causa" of the University of Neuchâtel.
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