BREGUET Neveu & Cie. No 5092


Horloge Marine à un barillet in wonderful original condition, circa 1840.

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2-piece mahogany box of good colour and figure, and of visible dovetail construction, as sometimes used, with original brass furniture including 'rectangular' gimbal ring. 2-day fullplate movement with single going-barrel, paired with a detachable escapement platform of typical navette shape, the platform numbered 280. Spring-detent escapement of classic Breguet design having its original bifurcated detent with angled passing-spring and counterpoised roller. 2-arm compensation balance of typical Breguet form but unusual in having Earnshaw-style wedge shaped weights, 10-turn helical balance-spring, without terminal curves (intentionally), with 3-footed adjustable stud and counterpoised collet. Silvered dial of typical Breguet design, original gold hands. Box 20 x 18.5 x 18.5 cm

The famous Paris firm of Breguet, about which there is much to be found in both books and on the internet. Apart from his domestic watches, A-L Breguet was most interested in chronometery, becoming 'Horloger de la Marine' in 1815. He spent some time in designing an accurate and easy to service and repair machine, choosing to dispense with the troublesome (as he saw it) fusee and create a detachable escapement platform that could facilitate easier changes and repair. His machines are usually fitted with either one or a pair of going-barrels, but the firm also made a few with as many as four going-barrels, and even some with a fusee.

NB: As with many working chronometers of this date, they have been changed and/or adapted, while many show the results of a great many repairs. Add to this more recent, often misguided, restorations and it is easy to understand that many are now in what is a far from original state. This is something that applies particularly to those by Breguet. This example is an exception. So much so, I have chosen to show it prior to any restoration or even cleaning. I prefer low key restoration myself, always erring on the side of caution, but I am happy to offer this machine 'as is' or have it restored as directed by its buyer. What I take to be its last service label, applied to the box by the firm of Louis Leroy & Cie, is dated March 1958.

The winding key is a replacement and the steel key for the box is broken, although both parts survive. The box and brass furniture showing signs of age and use, and the movement not cleaned by me. It will however tick happily when wound.