Gideon & Co., Locle, Swiss, Case No. 86825, 62 mm, 246 g, circa 1900
An important, unique, astronomic and as new minute repeating "Grande Complication" with 13 complications and 8 day going trains on two levels, with day, date and month indicator, moon phase, lunar calendar, chronograph and central progressive 60 minutes recording hand, quarter hour self strike, "Grande & Petite Sonnerie" - made for the Indian market - with mahogany box Case: 18k gold, à goutte, borders with engraved palmette frieze, lavishly engraved band and pendant, front cover decorated with a finely painted on enamel scene of a lady and gentleman on horseback jumping a rose diamond-set fence, the back cover decorated with a fine polychrome on enamel depiction of horsemen accessories amongst oak leaves, engraved and signed gold dome, chronograph pusher at "12", slide for repeating mechanism, case maker punch mark "JL". Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, sunk auxiliary seconds, sunk day-, date- and month indication, cobalt blue enamelled moon phase disc with inlayd gold stars and moon, central progressive minute recording hand, blued spade hands. Movm.: tall bridge movement (attributed to Louis-Elisée Piguet), frosted, gilt, tandem wind with matted click works on the top, finely ground and bevelled chronograph steel parts, ratchet wheel, 2 hammers, 2 gongs, gold screw compensation balance, blued Breguet balance spring, counterpoised lever.
The most complicated watch ever produced for the Indian market This piece is the most complicated watch produced for the Indian market which has ever been sold at auction. One may assume that the watch was made for presentation to the Maharaja Mahbub Ali Khan, the 6th Nizam of Hyderabad, at a special race or other equestrian event. He reigned from 1869 until 1911. Its most prominent rare features are the 8 day going trains and the central progressive minute recording hand, which in combination with the chronograph hand gives the impression that this is a split seconds chronograph. The design of the watch illustrates the height of the British Raj in India. The scene shows a fashionable English couple out on a ride as well as an oak leaf motif and riding accessories. It is likely that the jockey's cap shows the racing colours of the original purchaser. This combination of Swiss manufacture and English taste is quite typical for the Indian market and was one aspect of the so-called "Swiss period", which of course also produced a number of Swiss-manufactured watches with cases decorated purely in Indian style. The ruling Indian classes at the time often welcomed the English gentry and enjoyed participating in traditional English pastimes.
Estimate 270,000 - 350,000 €
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