Jn GAILLARD, Rouen, No 337


Rare French watch with revolutionary dial, circa 1795, in lovely original condition.

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Slim pink gold case retaining its original pendant and bow, the back numbered 8017 and stamped 'I D MD.' Well finished fullplate fusee movement almost certainly Paris work, the typical French balance-bridge with steel coquerette. Verge (recoil) escapement, with the usual Swiss/French adjustment for drops. Brass balance, spiral balance-spring. Beautiful enamel dial in perfect condition, the upper dial in red showing revolutionary time and with subsidiary dials showing the revolutionary 30-day month numbers and 10-day week names to the left and right, the dial in black below indicating standard duo-decimal pre-revolutionary time, with a mix of gold and blued-steel hands. 53 mm diameter.

Jn Gaillard in Rouen, northern France, a watch maker/retailer not mentioned in Tardy.

Much can be found in articles and on the internet about the French revolution and its adoption of decimal time and a decimal calendar. Surviving examples are rare, though most major museums have examples, with clocks perhaps more common than watches. Few are known to have survived in such good condition as this example.

The upper dial minute hand a replacement and one slight dent in the case edge, otherwise in wonderful original condition, looking to have hardly been used - even though its standard time dial enabled it to be used after revolutionary time failed to become accepted. Serviced and guaranteed.