Julien [Pierre] Le ROY, Paris. No 4345


£ 9,995.00

Very rare example of a fusée renversée by this most important maker, circa 1765.

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Single engraved gold case bearing Paris hallmarks. Fullplate movement with inverted fusee, in which the great wheel is attached to the narrower end of the fusee, the cock incorporating the initials 'JLR' and the potance with the usual French adjustment for drops, as rarely seen in English work. Verge (recoil) escapement. Original signed enamel dial held by screws at 12 and 5.30, with un-chipped winding hole at 3.30, and original pierced gold hands. 45 mm diameter.

Pierre Le Roy, "the most eminent horologist of France" according to G H Baillie, son of the equally famous Julien Le Roy and who continued to use the name of his illustrious father on his watches for many years, as researched and identified by Charles Allix in various article published in Antiquarian Horology. The main one concerning this rare form of movement appears in the June 1968 issue where the only then known example, No 3827, is described by Allix and Giuseppe Brusa. This watch has Courtney Ilbert, Michael Inchbald and Brusa provenance, having been shown at the International Art Treasures Exhibition in London in 1962. It can now be seen in the Patek Museum, Geneva.

The idea of the inverted fusee (this is different to a reverse fusee, please note) was first presented in a Paper presented to the Paris based Académie Royale des Sciences in 1763 and published three years later in 1766. The report, by a "M Le Roy" is entitled 'Mémoire sur une Nouvelle Situation de la Fusée dans le Montres Simples, qui Produit plusiers advantages.' The identity of the writer, the inventor of the inverted fusee, is credited by Allix and Brusa to Jean-Baptiste Le Roy, who writes that it was put into a number of watches made by his brother. The watches themselves are now known to bear the name of the father Julien.

NB: While the Mémoire... states that his brother (Pierre) made a large number of these watches, this present example is only the third surviving example known to me and has possibly not been previously recorded. The only other example, No 3952, was sold at a 2015 Cheyette & Cheval auction at the Drouot in Paris for just under £7000. All three are signed 'Julien Le Roy' - Julien died in 1759.

A very rare example and of museum importance, this watch has survived in lovely original condition and I have purposely undertaken no restoration, just cleaning. The case back does show wear to the engraving and the gold shell of the case button (I can have this replaced if wanted) plus the dial shows faint hair cracks, but rather miraculously there are no chips around the winding hole - a most unusual survival. Fully serviced and accompanied by my usual guarantee.