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

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  • Manufacturer: Swiss Designer
    Year: Circa 1800
    Case No: Bow numbered 5857
    Material: 3 colour gold
    Calibre: Verge escapement
    Dimensions: 56.5 mm. diameter
    Literature: The present watch is prominently featured in Le Monde des Automates by Alfred Chapuis, page 57 fig. 331.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Automations started to appear in Geneva in the late 18th century. They were small, technical marvels imitating the movements of living creatures ranging from figures whose arms would indicate the time, to exceedingly complex works that tell a complete story.

    The present watch features a household scene, with different objects moving to illustrate a busy day in the kitchen. When the watch is wound and the automata is activated, the lady's hand moves back and forth as if she is sewing. Her foot steps on the pedal, and then the sewing machine activates with its wheel spinning fiercely. The hearth, containing a spit with a turning roast in front of the automated flames is automated by the turning wheel and the dog inside is independently moving back and forth, and finally the water fall is nicely flowing. With seven separate actions, this watch is certainly one of the more complicated automatas from the period.

    In addition to the fine technical aspects of this automata, the quality throughout is exceptional and the condition is extremely well preserved, from the finely painted polychrome enamel, to the superbly crafted three colour gold scene. Of overall exceptional quality, the present watch is a fine example of Swiss automata published prominently in Le Monde des Automates by Alfred Chapuis.


An exceptional and very rare three colour gold key wound openface verge watch with seven automata

Circa 1800
56.5 mm. diameter

HK$620,000 - 800,000 

Sold for HK$750,000

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030

Ziyong Ho
+852 9386 2032

Jill Chen
+852 2318 2033

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: ONE

Hong Kong Auction 1 December 2015 11am