Girard-Perregaux - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: TWO Hong Kong Monday, May 30, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Girard-Perregaux
    Year: 1886
    Case No: 87'321
    Model Name: Three Golden Bridges
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Mechanical
    Dimensions: 62 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed; case further signed R. Waldvogel for the case maker
    Literature: For a miniature three bridge tourbillon, please see Watches by George Daniels and Cecil Clutton, figs. 546-5.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present observatory tourbillon is of exceptional quality and is extremely well made. The condition is extraordinary, the dial is clear of any hairlines and the 5 joint case closes nice and tightly and the original engravings to both lids is very crisp. Overall this is a truly exceptional watch of historical importance. The long pivoted detent escapement was made by Ernest Guinand (c 1810-1879), which can be distinguished by the typical A-shaped frame that is always fitted with the pivoted detent escapements he was known for. Guinand also manufactured tourbillon carriages for the greatest watchmakers at the time, and it is rumoured that he was responsible for the first Patek Philippe tourbillon tested in 1867. Pivoted detent escapements were generally more fashionably used in Switzerland rather than England at the time. This is generally because the Swiss were brought up and trained how to make pivoted detent escapements where the English were taught how to make spring detent escapements. It is believed that the pivoted detent is more robust than the English spring detent. The pivoted detent was generally used at the time to avoid errors of rate with change of position in the watch. The idea behind the detent escapement is to increase accuracy. In a lever escapement, the escape wheel teeth and palette fork generate a lot of friction between them. The detent was designed to eliminate the palette fork and alter the balance wheel so that it will only interact the escapement once a second when changing direction. It is the detent that changes the direction of the balance wheel. Instead of a lever escapement that connects multiple times per second, the detent escapement only connects once per second, subsequently the friction of the parts were reduced.

    The outer case is finely engraved with the Argentinian Coat of Arms. The front is monogrammed with the initial N.A., which could stand for Nicolás Avellaneda, the president of Argentina from 1874 to 1880. The present watch really is of museum quality and in order to discover its importance, one needs to hold it in one's hand to marvel at its heavy case, pristine enamel dial and spectacular three bridge tourbillon.


An exceptionally rare and historically interesting yellow gold hunter case observatory three bridge tourbillon pocket watch with long pivoted detent escapement

62 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed; case further signed R. Waldvogel for the case maker

HK$640,000 - 960,000 

Sold for HK$837,500

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: TWO

Hong Kong Auction 31 May 2016