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Lot No. 126
Lot No. 126
Estimate  80,000 - 120,000 €
This is a lot of the last auction!

Breguet à Paris

, Movement No. 4366, Height 1330 mm, circa 1835

A rare precision regulator with 5-rod grid-iron pendulum - sold on 4th of September 1835 for the sum of 1350 Francs to Joseph Thaddäus Winnerl

Dial: enamel. Movm.: circular brass plate movement, Graham escapement with adjustable steel pallets with inlaid sapphires, brass pendulum bob, heavy brass gimbals for pendulum spring suspension with two springs.

In Vol. 2 of his series on precision pendulum clocks Jürgen Ermert writes on the "French observatory clocks":

"These master clocks are nearly identical in design and were produced over a long period according to the specifications stipulated by the observatories. Technical literature by Erbrich and Roberts records this type of clock as having been produced by Ferdinand Berthoud in Paris (1762), Louis Berthoud, Breguet, Jean Francois Henry Motel and Simon Vissiere (circa1870).

The enamel dials used for these clocks usually have a relatively small diameter (circa 160-210 mm) and are designed according to the specifications of the academy of sciences; the clock unit comes in a dust-proof brass cylinder, with a solid movement plate and all the other typical features of a high precision clock that is intended for scientific purposes. The system was usually delivered to the customer without case. The indications for seconds, minutes and hours sit in the centre; the unit with the movement is then fitted on the plate with the pendulum already suspended. The opening for the fork and the pendulum is visible at the bottom end of the cylinder. With a few exceptions, these clocks usually feature a Graham escapement, a one month power reserve and a gridiron pendulum. Sometimes the anchor was fitted on the outside of the back plate. Even though stones were already in use for high quality clocks by 1800, the majority of the clocks had the usual brass bearings. The stone pallets on the anchor also came later."

It is a similarly apt description of this timepiece also, which features the same brass bearings plus an anchor with stone pallets. The dial size of 16 cm is rather small; the movement plate, however, is 25 mm thick, which is rather a lot. The adjustment screw sits inside the bob and the top cross-strut holds a niftily concealed beat adjustment system that uses a knurled screw.
An interesting fact about this high-value timepiece is of course its buyer – according to the Breguet archives, the regulator was sold on September 4, 1835 to none other than Joseph Thaddäus Winnerl (1799 - 1886); Winnerl worked from 1829 on at Breguet’s in Paris and set up his own business in 1832, making a name for himself as a specialist for marine chronometers, precision pocket watches and pendulum clocks.
Case: very good
Dial: very good
Movm.: very good, capable of running, cleaning needed

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