Bertaut Keyless 1/4 repeater

Tom McIntyre

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This watch may be more interesting for its winding and setting given that it was likely made in the early 1830's. It was discussed in an earlier thread on keyless works, but I just got it back from a spa treatment at Denis' place and I am still trying to learn how to shoot videos.

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Philip Poniz

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It was a flourishing period for keyless winding systems starting from pump-winding to stem winding and a few in between. A few books have been written on the subject and there is still room for one more.

The signature on the cuvette (without abbreviation), Reymond Bertaut Horloger Breveté du Roi means that the maker patented something in France. The patent was for the keyless system granted on December 14, 1839 with ten year protection. The setting is supposed to be via a provision from under the front cover.

In his (or their's, it appears there might have been a father and a son) earlier watches the hands are set by blued steel knurled knob through an aperture in the cuvette. This system was exhibited in a Paris Exposition of 1835 and protected by a patent from the previous year.

It is a significant patent strongly suggesting that the Philippe’s 1845 invention (the one from Patek Philippe) did not come out of the blue. In fact, it was considered so important that Revue Chronométrique included it in their list of the 100 most important horological inventions.

Is it the same watch as the one from Christie’s South Kensington, April 29, 1998 lot 351?
 

Tom McIntyre

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I got a little busy and forgot to include a picture of the setting mechanism. It is not easy to see.

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