Lot No. 654 (91st Auction)
B. Haas Jeune & Co. Genève/Paris, 55 mm, 150 g, circa 1885

An intricate and almost as new double hunting case pocket watch with cover winding mechanism and perpetual calendar - with gold watch chain and original box
Case: 18k pink gold, tiered, engine-turned, à goutte, the front lid with engraved crown and Arabic signature: "Muhsin", the back lid with engraved signature within a laurel wreath: "Mustafa", glazed on both sides. Dial: Front side: enamel, radial Roman hours, auxiliary seconds, aperture for moon phase with cobalt blue enamelled moon phase disc and inlaid golden stars and moon, outer indication of the moon age, window for display of the year, second window for indication of the months in French, gold spade hands. Back side: outer enamel chapter ring with weekday and date indicator, filigree gold hands. Movm.: bridge movement, nickel-plated, "fausses côtes" decoration, wolfteeth winding wheel, gold screw compensation balance, counterpoised lever.

This very rare calendar mechanism is fitted with a concealed perpetual calendar, which operates through a visible wheel with a purpose-built gearing that turns once a year. One after the other each of the 12 teeth control the monthly cycle; the variations of the February tooth are created by a mounted submechanism.

Haas & Cie.
In 1848 the brothers Leopold (1827-1915) and Benjamin (1828-1925) Haas, both knights of the Légion d'honneur, founded the ANCIENNE MANUFACTURE DES MONTRES HAAS & CIE in Geneva. The company excelled in unique and exceptional pieces and achieved its reputation with exquisite watches that pass for modern even today. Rare treasures such as the split second chronograph and beautifully wrought pocket and wristwatches were created in accordance with the manufacturer's fundamental motto of simplicity, technique and elegance. Benjamin Haas invented a form of winding where the mainspring was wound by opening the front cover of a hunting case watch. Patents, 1873, p. 48 illustrated and outlined British patent No. 3945, issued Dec. 2, 1873 to B. Haas. This patent was licensed to other makers. 1884 Haas changed their name to Haas Neveux & Cie, to communicate that new family members had taken positions in the company. At the same time the original logo of B.H. & Co. (for Benjamin Haas & Co) was changed to a small running hare and the letters HNC in an oval shape - representing the dynamic attitude of the company. In 1896 Haas Neveux & Cie establishes a record with an ultraflat 2mm movement for a ladies' watch and wins a first price for precision in the 1902 competition of the famous "Observatoire de Genève".

Benjamin Haas
English patent No. 3945 of December 2, 1873 was granted to Benjamin Haas for the development of a novel and unusual winding mechanism, which used the energy that is generated when the front cover of the watch is closed. Haas improved the original idea further and his watch possesses a well-developed system with a 36-hour power reserve (generated by twelve closings). Haas changed the going train by adding an additional wheel so that a single closing was able to achieve three hours' winding. He also invented a safety device which disengaged the mechanism when fully wound and thus prevented any damage to the cover.

We would like to thank Professor Claus Peter Haase of the Department for Art History, Freie Universität Berlin, Department of History and Cultural Studies, Museum for Islamic Art, for providing the translation of the inscription.
Estimate  16,000 - 20,000 €
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