a lot of the last auction!
Silver, glazed movement.
very good, worn.
Enamel, Chinese zodiac signs.
Bridge movement, keywind, florally engraved, going barrel, duplex escapement, monometallic screw balance with screwed on blued weights.
very good, to be restored, capable of running.
The dial has 12 Chinese characters and the corresponding animal symbols of the Chinese zodiac for the twelve "Shi" two-hour periods, which is why the dial ring in the centre has a double 12-hour division. The hour hand in the centre moves around once in 24 hours.
Amongst the European makers of pocket watches who produced watches for the Chinese market, Ilbery in London and Bovet and Vaucher in Fleurier were the most renowned companies. They had branches in China and exported the movements and the enamelwork for the timepieces from Switzerland to China.
Edouard Bovet born in Fleurier, Switzerland in 1797, son of a local master-watchmaker, Jean-Frédéric Bovet. Edouard had four brothers, Frédéric, Alphonse, Gustave, Charles-Henri, and a sister, Caroline. In 1814 Edouard Bovet is against Neuchâtel's return to Prussian rule after the fall of Napoleon. After his apprenticeship, he leaves Fleurier with Alphonse and Frédéric to work as a watchmaker in London. 1818 Edouard Bovet's employer, the Magniac company, sends him to Canton, the only Chinese port open to Western trade. He leaves England on the East India merchantman, Orwell, on April 20, arriving in Canton via the Cape of Good Hope on August 16. Delighted, he wrote to his brother in Switzerland, enthusing about the market potential and asking him to send more watches, but only of the very best quality, since this was where the demand lay and there was no difficulty about payment. Since 1822 Bovet, now living in Canton, founds a partnership company for the China watch trade with his two brothers in London, Alphonse and Frédéric, and his third brother Gustave, watchmaker in Fleurier. The charter of the company is drawn up in London on May 1. Business booms, and the company quickly transfers production to Fleurier.