Lot No. 470 (91st Auction)
Pierre Jaquet-Droz, Movement No. 42059, Case No. 3185, 54 mm, 122 g, circa 1790

A gentleman's quarter repeating pocket watch
Case: 18k rose gold, polished, reeded band, pusher for repetition via pendant. Dial: enamel, Arabic numerals, signed, blued Breguet hands. Movm.: full plate movement, keywind, applied floral decorations, signed, gilt, chain/fusee, 2 hammers / 2 gongs, verge escapement, three-arm brass balance, steel balance bridge.

Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721 - 1790)
Pierre Jaquet-Droz was a Swiss-born watchmaker of the late eighteenth century. He lived in Paris, London, and Geneva, where he designed and built animated dolls, or automata, to help his firm sell watches and mechanical birds.
Constructed between 1768 and 1774 by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, his son Henri-Louis (1752-1791), and Jean-Frédéric Leschot (1746-1824) were The Writer (made of 6000 pieces), The Musician (2500 pieces), and The Draughtsman (2000 pieces).
His astonishing mechanisms fascinated the kings and emperors of Europe, China, India, and Japan.
Some consider these devices to be the oldest examples of the computer. The Writer has an input device to set tabs that form a programmable memory, 40 cams that represent the read-only programme, and a quill pen for output. The work of Pierre Jaquet-Droz predates that of Charles Babbage by decades.
The automata of Jaquet-Droz are also considered to be some of the finest examples of human mechanical problem solving. Three particularly complex and still functional dolls, now known as the Jaquet-Droz automata, are housed at the art and history museum in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Source:, as of 09/09/2014.
Estimate  3,000 - 4,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!

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