Lot No. 645 (91st Auction)
Jämes-C. Pellaton, Ecole d'Horlogerie Le Locle, Movement No. 1969, 53 mm, 164 g, circa 1950

An important graduate's piece of the horological school in Le Locle with Pellaton's one-minute tourbillon
Case: 18k gold, double glazed viewing. Dial: enamel, Arabic "Empire" numerals, auxiliary seconds, blued Breguet hands. Movm.: divided 2/3 plate movement, movement type IV, nickel-plated, "fausses côtes" decoration, club-tooth lever escapement, Guillaume gold screw compensation balance, blued balance spring with 2 terminal curves, finely mirror polished and bevelled steel tourbillon cage under a mirror polished and bevelled steel bridge, screwed gold chatons.

The shape and the movement design of this watch reach far back in time: a movement created by J.-C. Pellaton’s father Albert Pellaton-Favre around 1900 already shows all the characteristics of the watch at hand, with one exception only: Pellaton-Favre used chronometer escapements for his tourbillons. His son’s "return" to lever escapements for his timekeepers probably resulted from the fact that the Swiss lever escapement was - while being equally reliable - much less complicated to use than the chronometer escapement.
Number "1969" exactly matches number "1966" by Jämes-C. Pellaton, which is explained in Reinhard Meis‘ "Das Tourbillon" (1986) on page 164; that piece was probably created in 1950 in a cooperation with pupils at the watchmaking school in Le Locle - presumably Pellaton’s contribution to the piece was the cage.

The undisputed master of tourbillons, Jämes-C. Pellaton
The watch with tourbillon carriage was an ultimate in precision timekeeping. From the 1920’s to the 1940’s, Jämes-C. Pellaton (ca. 1880 -1954) was one of the most esteemed maker of tourbillons and tourbillon carriages, which he supplied to the most prestigious companies including Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Girard-Perregaux, Ulysse Nardin. He learned his craft from his father, also an esteemed tourbillon maker. In design he followed his father, working on the same type of ebauches. He became director of the horological school in Le Locle, which in 1943 awarded him the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa, one of only three awarded at the time.

This lot also includes a lady’s gold wristwatch by Ulysse Nardin Locle Suisse with a dedication to Pellaton’s wife: "A Mlle. Marguerite Pellaton, 1924 1949, Ulysse Nardin S.A".
Estimate  52,000 - 65,000 €
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