I hope this is enjoyable. A. Piguet signed gong minute repeater, #6396. Thoughts?

SpringDriven

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Dec 22, 2010
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All,

I have seen some very impressive research and information on this forum, wow is all I can say. As I spend time wrapping my mind around various brands, some of them I just lack the resources to get very far. Bravo to the Swiss academics!

Here is the watch. Made for Theodore B. Starr of New York, who was in operation from 1877 until 1900 I understand from research. He sold very nice silverware from what I have seen, and apparently fine watches too.

The watch is signed under the gong A. Piguet. The serial number of the movement and matching case is #6396. The little I have found is that A. Piguet started in 1875 or 1881, I don't know why I wrote those two dates down at the time I did my homework. And now I have seen some recent posts here that seem to talk about Piguet this and Audemars that, and I wonder if I even know what the signature A. Piguet on the gong really means?

The case hallmark for the gold I believe is a Neuchatel hallmark. From my research it seems that hallmark was stopped in 1881/1882.

Unbelievably beautiful condition rose gold hunting case and chain. My photos look like yellow gold but it is pink. It shows little use. The movement is in excellent condition, but the balance staff is broken. Rose gold train, purple screws, pretty much everything is jeweled, polished winding teeth, polished internal corners on bevels. Everything about the watch is to the nines. Engraving and engine turning on the dust cover is wonderful. Hand painted dial.

What are your thoughts on this watch? Can anyone with that serial number know anything specific related to the watch?

Thank you.
20210302_163717.jpg 20210302_163812.jpg 20210302_163919.jpg 20210302_163929.jpg 20210302_165301.jpg 20210302_165315.jpg 20210302_164429.jpg 20210302_164339.jpg 20210302_164406.jpg 20210302_164406.jpg
 
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SKennedy

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A very nice watch. I can see it has one of those coil spring return slides in the case. Lovely!
 
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SpringDriven

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A very nice watch. I can see it has one of those coil spring return slides in the case. Lovely!
The slide portion of the case is very detailed, and finished to a high horology standard.

I am hoping some experts will be able to help fully identify this watch.

20201022_134140.jpg
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Beautiful watch, SpringDriven.

One of my minute repeaters has a fairly similar movement. The movement isn't sign, but the case is signed by B. Poitevin, a firm that was a finisher, a retailer, or both.

x.jpg

It is my understanding that this Poitevin was based on an Paul Nicole ebauche. I haven't found much information about Paul Nicole, but apparently he was an important source of repeater ebauches. Perhaps your watch, SpringDriven, was based on a Paul Nicole ebauche too..
 

SpringDriven

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Dec 22, 2010
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Beautiful watch, SpringDriven.

One of my minute repeaters has a fairly similar movement. The movement isn't sign, but the case is signed by B. Poitevin, a firm that was a finisher, a retailer, or both.

View attachment 641199

It is my understanding that this Poitevin was based on an Paul Nicole ebauche. I haven't found much information about Paul Nicole, but apparently he was an important source of repeater ebauches. Perhaps your watch, SpringDriven, was based on a Paul Nicole ebauche too..
That is indeed very similar in design. I had assumed, but was not certain, that Audemars Piguet made the watch. Seeing your example, and my lack of resources and knowledge of Swiss watchmaking ebuaches outside of generalities lead me to post this thread.

Now I can easily see that perhaps Audemars Piguet finished this watch, but perhaps did not make it?

Do I have a misunderstanding of the signed gong A. Piguet? I assumed that meant the watch was associated with the combined workshop of Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, which I see now opened their workshop in 1875, but 1882 (I have written 1881) was the start of their production?

At least I am getting a lot of 1881 and 1882 dates to line up in relation to this watch.
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Do I have a misunderstanding of the signed gong A. Piguet? I assumed that meant the watch was associated with the combined workshop of Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, which I see now opened their workshop in 1875, but 1882 (I have written 1881) was the start of their production?
I don't know if your understanding is incorrect. The provenance of Swiss watches is often hard to decipher because many were produced in what amounted to a collaborative process. The ebauche was made by Firm A. Firms B-E supplied parts, dials, hands, and cases to Firm A or Firm F, with Firm F assembling and "finishing" the watch, which then was completely unsigned, signed by the finisher, or signed by another maker/finisher or retailer. Who "made" the watch, therefore, often is a mystery as well as a definitional issue.
 
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SpringDriven

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I don't know if your understanding is incorrect. The provenance of Swiss watches is often hard to decipher because many were produced in what amounted to a collaborative process. The ebauche was made by Firm A. Firms B-E supplied parts, dials, hands, and cases to Firm A or Firm F, with Firm F assembling and "finishing" the watch, which then was completely unsigned, signed by the finisher, or signed by another maker/finisher or retailer. Who "made" the watch, therefore, often is a mystery as well as a definitional issue.
Ok, I have the concept. I had just assumed naively that perhaps AP had made this watch. But I am happy to learn that is possibly not the case, and should be expected that they did not make it, but perhaps were the ones who finished it.

I am wondering if this watch is in AP records?

Any info on those case markings, was I right on the Neuchatel mark?
 

Dr. Jon

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I very much doubt this watch ever saw the AP factory but the way to find out is to aske them. They have the records and they will let you know whether it is one of theirs.
 

SpringDriven

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Dec 22, 2010
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I very much doubt this watch ever saw the AP factory but the way to find out is to aske them. They have the records and they will let you know whether it is one of theirs.
Why do you doubt? What would the A Piguet stamp under the gong mean then?

I should rephrase. During the years of 1877 and 1900, when T.B. Starr was in operation in New York, and in relation to the case stamps, who else used A Piguet as a stamp?

I understand there is a relative, named Albert G Piguet. But I don't know the years he operated.
 
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Dr. Jon

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As I wrote, a reply from AP proves or disproves their having been involved; but, here are my reasons why I do not think this is one of theirs

1) By this serial number range, they were not using this type of movement
2) It is not as well finished as AP work, your watch is very fine but it is a notch below what AP was doing
3) The Piguet of AP was E. Piguet and some were signed E. Piguet but they always had signature features your watch does not have
4) All of the private label AP watches I have seen had unique movement features that ID them
5) AP almost always signed their watches under the dial.

Exceptions occur, high end watches like this were usually made to order and AP could have done it as a one off but this seems very unlikely.
 
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SpringDriven

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As I wrote, a reply from AP proves or disproves their having been involved; but, here are my reasons why I do not think this is one of theirs

1) By this serial number range, they were not using this type of movement
2) It is not as well finished as AP work, your watch is very fine but it is a notch below what AP was doing
3) The Piguet of AP was E. Piguet and some were signed E. Piguet but they always had signature features your watch does not have
4) All of the private label AP watches I have seen had unique movement features that ID them
5) AP almost always signed their watches under the dial.

Exceptions occur, high end watches like this were usually made to order and AP could have done it as a one off but this seems very unlikely.
Did you see the picture of the attached gong that is signed A Piguet? The Piguet is written in a circle pattern with A underneath it. I am sure that points to someone.

I am glad to hear your reasons. I do not have experience in this category to work with or compare to. I only have T.B. Starr which I researched the dates of when he was in NY, the case stamps, the serial number, and the stamp under the gong.

Here are a few pictures of the two racks. The bevels are large and consistent with internal corners. The work is like this throughout the watch, there is considerable effort in the finishing. I hope that I get to see something of an even higher standard someday.

20201211_144535.jpg 20201211_144751.jpg 20201211_144528.jpg
 

SpringDriven

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Dec 22, 2010
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Good morning!

Here is a better picture of the only identifying stamp on the movement, other than the serial, 6396.

Using the time frame from T.B. Starr and the Neuchatel case hallmark, this watch I assume was finished sometime between 1877 and perhaps 1882.

Dr. Jon does not believe this is a Audemars Piguet finished pocket watch.

Considering those dates and this stamp, who else used the A Piguet name at this time, 1877 to 1882?

I am hoping that someone recognizes this stamp.

Thank you!


20210304_092733.jpg
 

Dr. Jon

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The stamp shows that A. Piguet made the gong.

Here is an Audemars Piguet mark punched on the dial plate under the dial.
APmark_c.jpg

Several makers from Le Brassus used the heart form. Audemars Piguet spelled out both Names because they were partners .

APmark_c.jpg
 
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SpringDriven

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It makes sense that both names would be spelled out, as they were partners. I sincerely apologize for even considering that this watch may have been made or finished by AP. I have nothing else to work with.

Were there many companies operating under the Piguet name in this time frame, a company associated with A Piguet?

Would that stamp mean only the gong was made by this person? Would that be normal for minute repeaters of that time frame?

I was under the impression that each company made their own gongs, as a kind of secret for the sound? But then I also understand the Swiss industry at that time, and perhaps someone specialized in making gongs, much like case makers.

I thought figuring out who made this watch would not be difficult with that stamp. Is this a completely unsigned private label movement with only a serial number? How common is that at this level of finish?
 

eri231

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the gong could have been built by Jules Albert Piguet. Piguet was also a very common surname in watchmaking, but Jules Albert along with David Constant Piguet specialize in the construction of gongs. This repeater cannot be paired with AP because the number 6396 is too high. AP only arrives at this number in 1899.
probably this movement (ebauches) is by Aubert Freres.
Jules albert.png Piguet.png
regards enrico
 
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SpringDriven

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the gong could have been built by Jules Albert Piguet. Piguet was also a very common surname in watchmaking, but Jules Albert along with David Constant Piguet specialize in the construction of gongs. This repeater cannot be paired with AP because the number 6396 is too high. AP only arrives at this number in 1899.
probably this movement (ebauches) is by Aubert Freres.
View attachment 641388 View attachment 641389
regards enrico
That is awesome. Thank you.

And thank everyone else too!!!
 
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eri231

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I take back what I just said about Aubert Freres. I found a correspondence with Louis Elisée Piguet. I'll take photos of a document later.
regards enrico
 

eri231

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Found these drawings by Louis Elisée Piguet from 1876. but perhaps the repeater was assembled by another watchmaker, because the number is too high for the production of LEP.

IMG_3334.jpg
IMG_3335.JPG

regards enrico
 
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Dr. Jon

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No apology necessary we learn by putting forward ideas and getting response.

To reply to your question, The Swiss and especially the people in the La Brassus area had specialties and A. Piguet could have made gongs for others. These reqruire special skills.

Starr imported very high quality items usually as private label so he either knew the industry well or had an agent who did.
 
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