Lot No. 200 (93rd Auction)
A collection of 4 pocket watches

Rentsch, London / Peter Friedrich Ingold, London, 47 mm, 102 g, circa 1860

A gentleman's important, unusual dress watch with repetition and winding via twisting the back
Case: gold. Dial: gilt. Movm.: 1/2 plate movement, 1 hammer / 1 gong, three-arm steel balance, hand setting via crown.

Rentsch in St. James Square was the royal clockmaker and one of the most prominent in the London Clockmakers Company, who in 1813 patented the much-admired invention of a selfwinding chronometer in the sense of a keyless watch.

Pierre-Frédéric (Peter Friedrich) Ingold
Ingold was born on July 6, 1787 in the Canton of Bern and he was one of the most skilled watchmakers ever.
Ingold was far ahead of his time, which made him a respected man among his peers, but he was also seen as a redoubtable adversary by many other makers. He trained a great number of pupils and allowed them all access to his designs and developments.
Here are some facts on his eventful life:
In 1799 Ingold worked for his mother, who was also his teacher; he produced arbors, pinions and contacts and later created cylinder and virgule escapements. In 1809 he worked in repairs in Strasbourg and moved to Paris in 1810. In 1813 Ingold went to Chaux-de-Fonds and eventually to London in 1814, where he worked with royal clockmaker Rentsch, who put a special emphasis on timepieces with proper toothwork. In London Ingold created a watch that was wound by turning the case back and where the hands were set through the bow; he build another one like it that also had a striking mechanism.
In 1815 Ingold came back to Chaux-de-Fonds via Paris, only to return to Paris in 1817 to work with Breguet. In Paris he became friends with Moinet and Kessels; he undertook some business trips to Constantinople and eventually got married. In 1825 he began working with jewels in Chaux-de-Fonds, as he had learned from Breguet. He started setting up equipment for machine production, which prompted the brothers Jagy to start negotiations with him about the introduction of his production methods in their manufactory. He went back to Paris and opened a shop in the Palais Royal; his patron was the famous physician Arago, who also encouraged Ingold to expand his scientific knowledge – as only practical and theoretical knowledge enable a man to be a top performer! In Paris Ingold repaired Vaucanson’s automata and created a similar automaton himself. In 1839 he went to London to complete the machinery in his factory – losing his savings of 200,000 francs in the process. In 1842 Ingold travelled to New York and eventually returned to Chaux-de-Fonds in 1855. He died in Bienne on October 18, 1878. He was the herald of a new era of machine-based watchmaking and at the same time the first victim of the new time – a fate that befalls many pioneers.
Source: C. Dietzschold, Der Cornelius Nepos der Uhrmacher, Krems, 1911, p. 33

Working with Rentsch, Ingold developed his first keyless watch. It was neither a remontoir as we know it today - a watch that is wound through the bow - nor a watch that is wound through a weight such as the so-called perpetual timepieces; the construction worked through a concentric inner contact activated by turning the case back. The toothed wheel used for this mechanism was almost of the same size as the plate itself. The position of the coils was similar to the one we use today (Maltese cross). Ingold also constructed a repeater mechanism where the strike was not activated by an outside slide or a pusher but through the revolving glass ring. The Russian ambassador in Berlin ordered this first keyless repeater watch and a short while later the Prince Regent of England also ordered six watches of this type.
Estimate  7,000 - 20,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!

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