Chronometry: Is this one of the First trials Winners

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by Dr. Jon, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    5,386
    183
    63
    Aerospace Engineer
    New Hampshire
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    This watch is a mystery.

    Dial_XTAL_s.jpg mvt_full_s.jpg inner-with-inscription_s.jpg


    The inscription translates "Chronometer of Geneva First Prize in Regulation".

    The style of the watch is right for the period 1872 to 1874, the first three Geneva trails.

    A description of Badollet watches at the Paris exposition of 1878 fits this watch as Badollet's First Quality but by that time they made a higher grade called Extra. Both First and Extra grades routinely went for First class certificates.

    There is no record of teh serial number of this watch in any of the data bases I can find, nor in the 1894 report which summarized the history for the Geneva trials. This report identifies Badollet and the first prize winner of the first trials but does not provide a serial number, only the entry number. This suggest that either there was no number or that it had been lost by 1894.

    The argument against it being what it says it is is the identification as J.J. Badollet. The company was trading as J. M. Badollet during the first trials. This is not an overwhelming issue since the name is engraved while the Badollet lion is stamped. Such engraving is does not risk damage to the watch. (Kew results were often engraved on watch movement after the trials) A trial winner could have been left signed only with the lion because they made a lot of private label watches but which had the lion mark.

    The seller dated the watch to 1909 because the watch came with a box with this date and the name of Paris dealer. The case has both French and Swiss hallmarks so the French box is probably original to its retail sale. The date likely was embossed on the box because the cuvette was already engraved.

    In summary it is signed as would be expected for a very early Geneva chronometer by a credible company who did win the first trials. Its serial number grade and types are consistent with it being a trials watch and as such it is reasonable that they would have held it for thirty years before selling it. The company name is wrong for the trial years, and this is an issue, but it has a plausible explanation.
     
  2. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

    Sep 16, 2008
    543
    44
    28
    Country Flag:
    Jon, have you considered communicating directly with Geneva? Although it may take a few weeks, I'm sure M. Pernier would eventually respond.
     
  3. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    5,386
    183
    63
    Aerospace Engineer
    New Hampshire
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks but I did that almost immediately after I obtained the watch.
     

Share This Page