Louis Berthoud
Horloger de la Marine 
Lot No. 29
Lot No. 29
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A remarkable Empire-style, 8-day precision table clock with half hour/hour strike, dead centre seconds and rare Coupe Perdu pin-wheel escapement
Estimate  16,000 - 25,000 €
a lot of the last auction!
Product Details
Mahogany, glass panels on four sides, front door flanked by two pilasters with applied gilt figures of dancing ladies and capitals of gilt Egyptian bronze masks, triangle pediment, gilt disc feet.
very good.
Enamel, radial Roman hours, outer minutes track with Arabic numerals, inner seconds ring, blued Breguet hands.
very good, small restaurations.
Circular brass full plate movement, 2 barrels, 1 hammer / 1 bell, half seconds compensation gridiron pendulum with knife edge suspension.
very good, capable of running, cleaning recommended.
455 mm
Product Description

With the Coupe Perdu pin-wheel escapement, the dead centre seconds can be displayed through a half seconds pendulum.
Pierre Louis Berthoud (1754-1813) is usually known as Louis Berthoud and was born in 1754 in Plancemont near Couvet in the region of Neuchâtel as the son of Pierre Berthoud. His brothers were Jean Henri and Isaac. Louis began his apprenticeship with his father at the age of 12. His uncle Ferdinand soon discovered the boy’s outstanding talent and brought him to Paris to expand his training. Afterwards the young Berthoud returned to Couvet because even with his uncle’s support he was not able to find a good position. After the suicide of Jean Henri (who had worked in his uncle’s workshop), Ferdinand brought Louis back to Paris in 1784 and put him in charge of the workshop. When he took the position Louis insisted that the books were kept with the greatest diligence. These books are today held by the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris. Louis Berthoud took over his uncle’s business after Ferdinand died.
He created the famous chronometer no. 9 with a design that was an absolute novelty at the time. This watch is without doubt one of the most important timekeepers in the history of French watchmaking and represents the culmination of Berthoud’s work. Louis Berthoud produced about 150 chronometers; he worked for the observatory and the navy, and was a member of the "Bureau des Longitudes". After his death Abraham-Louis Breguet took over the position of "Horloger de la Marine".
Louis Berthoud died unexpectedly on September 17, 1813 in Argenteuil. His widow Claire Thérèse Berthoud asked Jean-Francois Henri Motel to run the business because her sons Henri and Auguste were still too young to take it over; Motel was also their instructor. Motel trained the young Berthoud brothers until 1817 and managed the business until Henri and Auguste were ready to take over. Montel also trained Jean-Aimé Jacob und Jacques Fesche until 1816.
Source:, as of 04/10/2021.
A nearly identical clock by Louis Berthoud was sold at Antiquorum on October 23, 1999 at the special auction "THE LONGITUDE AT THE EVE OF THE THIRD MILLENNIUM" in Geneva as lot number 27.

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