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Lot No. 271
Estimate  15,000 - 25,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!

Breguet et fils, Paris

, Movement No. 1195, Case No. 1195, 54 mm, 110 g, circa 1804

An important, heavy quarter repeating "Repetiton à Ponts" pocket watch with jumping hours and ruby cylinder escapement - sold to Baron Guillaume-Louis Ternaux on October 24th, 1804 for the sum of 1,800 Francs - with original box and certificate no. 3608

Case: 18k rose gold. Dial: gold, engine-turned, secret signature, dial manufacturer Borel No. 169. Movm.: bridge movement, three-arm brass balance, temperature compensated balance spring, shock protection "parachute".

This timepiece is a high quality watch by Breguet which possesses most of the technical features of the so-called "Premiere Classe" repeater watches Breguet had created for everyday use: jumping hour, overhanging ruby escapement, spring suspension of the balance top pivot and bimetallic temperature compensation.

William-Louis Ternaux (1763-1833), the eldest son of Charles-Louis Ternaux (1738-1814), took over the direction of his family’s small woolen cloth business at Sedan (Department of Ardennes) in 1781 and rose to become the leading woolens manufacturer in France under Napoleon and during the Restoration. During 1781-1789 he very capably expanded the family woolens business at Sedan from 8 to 150 looms, giving work to over 3,000 men, women and children. The politics of the Revolution interrupted his achievement and led to his exile from France during 1792-98, but he used these years to advantage by studying the woolens industry in England, Germany and Switzerland. By the time of the "Exposition of the Products of French Industry" in Paris in 1823, when he composed his daring challenge cited above, he had created and was orchestrating a giant mechanized woolens industry employing overall some 20,000 people. He had commerce houses in cities throughout Europe as well as in New York, Mexico, Valparaiso and Calcutta. Ternaux contributed significantly to the introduction and perfection of merino sheep from Spain and, most famously, in 1818-19 he brought Tibetan cashmere goats to France and experimented with their fine down for his famous luxury shawls. Napoleon, on the occasion of a visit to Louviers in June, 1810, awarded Ternaux the cross of the Legion of Honor.
In private societies and the councils of Napoleon, as well as in the legislative assemblies of the Restoration, Ternaux was a key spokesman for economic and educational policies for the advancement of French industry. By the late 1820s, however, he was in trouble financially and forced to withdraw gradually from the field. He found it increasingly difficult to compete with less expensive English woolens, and there was growing consumer demand by then for cheaper machine-made cotton goods. In addition, he was having growing problems acquiring fine wools for the production of his luxury goods. Finally, in 1829, he organized a partnership to raise over 2 million francs for the construction of a large, up-to-date linens and canvas factory . Unfortunately, just as the factory was about to begin production, the Revolution of July 1830 in France scared off his investors. The fate of the venture was still in question when Ternaux died accidentally (2 April 1833) at his home in Saint-Ouen.
Case: very good, slightly worn
Dial: very good, hairlines
Movm.: very good, capable of running, cleaning recommended

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