Rare quarter repeating centre-seconds Pouzait lever watch, in lovely original condition, circa 1810.
Reeded-edge 18K gold double back case with glazed cuvette, stamped HC, with plunge repeating piston in the pendant. Fine fullplate movement with the extra large balance held under an engraved balance cock, with arrêt/marche balance-brake at 3, accessed when the bezel is open. Pouzait second's beating detached lever escapement, with dead-beat polished steel pallets and pinwheel-type escape. Plain balance that looks to be of low carat, probably 9ct gold, spiral balance-spring. Beautiful enamel dial signed Breguet & Fils, with equally beautiful blued-steel pierced 'Breguet' hands. 57 mm diameter.
Abraham Louis Breguet (1747-1823) et Fils, the most famous Paris watchmaking firm, about which I need say no more, but whose name appear on a lot of Swiss made watches that have nothing to do with the French firm - fakes in other words. That said, the firm also sold watches they classed as Etablissement Mixte, some of which do not bear any Breguet number nor appear, I am told, in their workbooks. Retaining strong Swiss contacts throughout his life, A-L Breguet will have known this was a most unusual and well made watch and, given the quality, it is almost certainly one the firm did retail.
NB: At least two similar watches signed Breguet & Fils are known (one is numbered 306), as well as a repeating watch with Pouzait escapement retailed by Urban Jurgensen, Breguet's famous Danish contemporary.
Jean-Moise Pouzait, creator of the first detached lever escapements in Switzerland, his original model of his escapement dating from 1783 - my drawing of it shown.
A most beautiful example of its kind, let alone any famous association, the one blemish being a small edge repair to the enamel dial at 3, not affecting the minute track (but wonderfully with no chips around the winding hole), and the balance-spring has been changed at some point. Otherwise, a fine and most rare Swiss/French watch of the Napoleonic period, fully serviced and guaranteed.
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