The Hong Kong Watch Auction: ONE Hong Kong Monday, November 30, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: NoArtist
    Year: Circa 1820
    Material: Pink gold and enamel
    Dimensions: 54.5 mm. diameter
    Signed: Dial signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Watches with automata first started to appear in the second half of the eighteenth century. This fashion arouse as the watch was once again regarded as a piece of jewelry, and the tiny automata would be situated on either the dial side and or the case back of the watch. These watches were extremely delicate and usually very amusing. One can find different quality automata from this period. The easiest, most common examples were two little figures that went through the motions of striking the hours on a bell, which were known as jaquemarts. The more complex automata, which required a far greater technician, recreated animated scenes representing all aspects of life. Watchmakers created works of art dedicated to village idylls, scenes of flirtation, hunting scenes, kitchen interiors and workshops. The present watch is one of these superior automata.

    On the reverse of the present watch, we are presented with a five motion automata. The gold figures revolve and a gentleman removes his hat while bowing, a second man is then taking a drink from his bottle and finally a horseman is striking his horse. Behind them, we have running water and a working windmill.


A very fine and rare pink gold and enamel openface automata watch with exposed balance

Circa 1820
54.5 mm. diameter
Dial signed

HK$320,000 - 600,000 

Sold for HK$625,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

Ziyong Ho
+852 9386 2032

Jill Chen
+852 2318 2033

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: ONE

Hong Kong Auction 1 December 2015 11am