CLÉMENCE Frères, Chaux-de-Fonds. No 32772


Fine Swiss Patent chronograph movement with minute counter, circa 1890.

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Three-quarter plate keyless movement (hunter set) in the English style, for retailing in the English market, but with typically Swiss pale gilding, the top plate with the early Swiss Patent stamp and No 259, the chronograph work partly on the top plate. Non-magnetic, English-style detached lever escapement of right-angle layout with ratchet-tooth escape. Non-ferrous compensation balance. Palladium (not tested) balance-spring with overcoil. Top quality double-sunk snap-on enamel dial with 30-minute counter at 6, full set of original blued-steel hands. 45 mm diameter, 11 mm deep, not including centre arbor.

Swiss PATENT No 259, December 1888, Clémence Frères, rue de la Promenade, Chaux-de-Fonds: Méchanisme de chronographe avec compteur. 

NB: Switzerland were one of the last in Europe to take up the system of protection via the Patent system. They did this starting as late as June 1888 with the opening of the official registration office in Berne. By contrast, the first English horological Patent was taken out in 1661, over two hundred years earlier. The fact that Swiss watchmakers spent much of those 200+ years copying English and Paris work may have something to do with this.

Hair crack within the enamel minute counter and all with the bloom of long dried up oil. Otherwise in fine complete and unbroken condition. Not cleaned by me but will just about tick if pressure is applied to train, and the chronograph mechanism is working correctly.