Friedrich Gutkaes, Dresden, Movement No. 44, Case No. 8372, 58 mm, 157 g, circa 1820
An important, early pocket chronometer with spring detent escapement and regulator dial Case: silver, glazed movement. Dial: enamel. Movm.: 2/3 plate movement, chain/fusee, three-arm bimetallic chronometer balance with 3 weights and 6 screws, helical balance spring.
This watch is described and illustrated in "100 Jahre Uhrenindustrie in Glashütte von 1845 bis 1945" by Reinhard Meis, Munich 2011, page 71.
Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes was born in Dresden on June 16, 1785. The choice of his godparents reflects the close connection of the Gutkaes family with the Dresden Court - his grandfather Johann Christian Gutkaese (1682-1757) had been chef to the court of Augustus II the Strong and Friedrich’s father Johann Christian (1753-1835) was a clerk to Frederick Augustus III. According to Karl J. Langer there is little reliable information on Gutkaes’s training as a watchmaker; the fact that the records of the watchmakers‘ guild in Dresden show no entry for him indicates that he was not apprenticed in Dresden. Inspired by his future employer Johann Friedrich Schumann (ca. 1759-1817) and his contact with the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, Gutkaes developed a strong interest in astronomy and mathematics. On September 21, 1815 Gutkaes married Schuhmann’s daughter Friederica Charlotte; about two weeks later he became a master watchmaker in Dresden. He had a flourishing watch and clock shop at the corner of Schlossstrasse und Rosmaringasse; due to his interest in astronomy, however, he devoted himself mainly to precision watches and the many well-preserved pieces such as the one we have here prove his exceptional skills in this field. In 1831 he became second engineer at the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon and maintaned the Dresden time service clocks and instruments, together with first engineer Blochmann. Gutkaes even produced some of these instruments himself - he created for example an astronomical precision pendulum clock for W.G. Lohrmann, director of the institute, and, on Lohrmann’s recommendation, an identical clock for Professor Bessel at the Königsberg observatory. Gutkaes built his clocks in his workshop at Wilsdruffer Gasse, among them the famous "Five-Minute Clock" at the Semper Opera House, which he had designed himself and which had been as spectacular on the day the Opera opened its doors as it is today. Due to his skills Gutkaes was appointed clockmaker to the court in 1842 and as such was entitled to free living quarters in the castle tower; he subsequently acted as keeper of the tower and looked after the tower clock, which in fact made him responsible for the keeping of time in Dresden. In the same year he was elected deacon of the Dresden watchmaker’s guild. Among Gutkaes’ apprentices are a number of well-known, even famous names: from October 20, 1830 on he trained - in addition to his eldest son Otto - Ferdinand Adolph Lange. In 1832 his second son started his apprenticeship with him and was followed by Moritz Krille in 1834, who later became the successor of Kessels in Altona. French chronometer makers Victor Gannery and B. Scharf also trained with Gutkaes for some time. When Carl Moritz Grossmann (1842) and Adolph Schneider began their apprenticeship in Gutkaes‘ workshop, they were already under the direction of F.A. Lange. Lange and Schneider both married daughters of Gutkaes. During the industrial exhibition of 1844 in Dresden, Gutkaes and Lange exhibited two astronomical pendulum clocks together that were each fitted with an experimental escapement, a seconds counter and a round caliper capable of measuring 1/100 mm. Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes died on August 8, 1845 in Dresden at the age of 60.
Estimate 22,000 - 35,000 €
Price Realised 27,300 €
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