Attributed to Louis Elisée Piguet - The New York Watch Auction: X New York Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Attributed to Louis Elisée Piguet
    Year: Late 19th Century
    Case No: 1'325
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, two-train keyless counterpoised lever escapement, 42 jewels
    Dimensions: 59.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case numbered 1'325, movement numbered 1'325 on the top plate.
    Provenance: Christie’s New York, October 28th, 1989, lot 531.

  • Provenance

    Christie’s New York, October 28th, 1989, lot 531.

  • Catalogue Essay

    An exceptionally complicated watch destined for the South American market, this Grand Sonnerie minute repeating clock watch from the late-nineteenth century oozes horological savoir-faire and encompasses all the excesses of the Gilded Age.

    Luckily for modern cataloguers, the cuvette is engraved with an enlightening description of what lies within: a quarter-repeating Grande Sonnerie with counterpoised balance, 42 jewels, straight lever escapement, and Breguet spiral, made for Maulme Hermaños, Guayaquil. Throughout the entire case, the elaborate and fine chased decorations featuring lion’s head plaques, oak leaf clusters, rose cartouches, and alternating floral scrollwork – also seen on the decoration to the dial – gives a clear indication of the watch’s destination as the South American market.

    Los hermanos Maulme, the Maulme brothers, were immigrants to Guayaquil, Ecuador, in the latter part of the 19th century. Arriving from Peru (or possibly Chile) as the sons of French immigrants, Enrique and Luis Maulme quickly set out to make a fortune in mining, and eventually branched into brewing and automobiles. Enrique Maulme’s automobile business eventually became the sole distributor of General Motors products in Ecuador. It is no leap of the imagination that one of these brothers, flush with success, ordered this highly prestigious timepiece.

    The movement was likely from noted Le Brassus watchmaker Louis Elisée Piguet, who provided ebauches of the highest complications for such notable makers as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Breguet. Indeed, this exact type of movement could be said to have inspired Philippe Dufour’s grande and petite sonnerie pocket watch, and later the first wristwatch to feature this same complication. Michel Parmigiani, former watch restorer and founder of Parmigiani Fleurier, acquired a L.E. Piguet grande and petite sonnerie ebauche and created the unique piece “La Rose Carrée” in 2021.


An extremely fine and attractive pink gold engraved hunter cased Grande and Petite Sonnerie minute repeating clockwatch made for the South American market

Late 19th Century
59.5mm Diameter
Case numbered 1'325, movement numbered 1'325 on the top plate.

$15,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $30,480

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The New York Watch Auction: X

New York Auction 8 - 9 June 2024