Alfred Drieselmann, Hamburg, 59 mm, 196 g, circa 1940/1988
A gentleman's important, heavy pocket watch with flying one-minute tourbillon according to Alfred Helwig with 36h power reserve indicator - a unique set of two unfinished watches of the same type, in different states of completion and with many individual parts (such as a tourbillon cage, chronometer springs, spare glasses, etc.) - with original framed master craftsman’s diploma of 1933 and extensive documentation of the life and work of Alfred Drieselmann; among the papers is the book in which he recorded the details on the making of his tourbillon Case: 18k gold, case design "Louis XVI à goutte", polished, tiered, glazed movement. Dial: silver, engine-turned, radial Roman hours, auxiliary seconds, signed, blued spade hands. Movm.: 2/3 plate movement, rhodium-plated, Glashuette stripe decoration, signed, 2 barrels, spring detent escapement, gold screw compensation balance, finest mirror-polished steel tourbillon cage.
The two incomplete timekeepers have dials and cases that are finished except for the hinges. However, one of them only has the movement plates and the winding mechanism, while the other watch also has parts of the unfinished tourbillon.
Alfred Drieselmann was born on April 15, 1909 in Kassel and started attending a local continuation school on May 1, 1924. On June 15, 1924 he began his apprenticeship with local master watchmaker Anton Schroeder; on May 29, 1933 Drieselmann became a master in Wiesbaden with excellent grades. From 1928 until 1931 he trained with Kochendoerffer in Kassel and from February 1931 until May 1938 he worked as an assistant at Pletzsch & Son in Frankfurt. In March 1938 he applied with Gerhard Wempe in Hamburg and supplied photographs of his tourbillon with his application. He was consequently offered a position to "revolutionise the workshops and train the staff to a methodical and systematic approach to tasks at hand". In 1939 Drieselmann presented his tourbillon during a competition for craftsmen; on April 10, 1945 the marine trade association gave him a license as a chronometer maker. He left Wempe because of ill-health on March 31, 1945 to go into business for himself; on July 22, 1947 he received permission "to open a shop to sell watches, gold and silver goods, jewellery and cutlery in Hamburg-Rahlstedt, Alter Zollweg 102". He had been appointed chairman of the commission for journeyman exams for watchmakers at the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts in September 1945. Drieselmann later lived and worked in Bad Wildungen, where he died after 1999.
A copy of a handwritten letter by Alfred Helwig exists, dated 1969; in it he writes amongst other things: "Dear colleague, Mr. Drieselmann! In the later years of life it is good to remember pleasant encounters one had in the past. Especially seeing the magnificent tourbillon you created was a wonderful experience, of which I still have photographs. [...]"
In 1960 Alfred Helwig wrote in an essay: "Let us remember those idealistic makers who worked far away from the German watchmaking school and produced wonderful creations after studying our publications, among them four excellent tourbillons: Martin Seidel in Rudolstadt, A. Drieselmann in Hamburg, Albrecht Thiel in Ruhla, Woldemar Fleck in Glashuette-Sebnitz and W. Prendel in USA."
Estimate 85,000 - 130,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!
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