Oval Gold Flat Wheel Cylinder


Anonymous    Swiss
Circa   1780
Diameter   40 x 52 mm         

Out of stock


An unusual decorated oval gold watch with rare flat wheel cylinder escapement.  Slim full plate gilt oval keywind movement with a broad engraved border.  Engraved cover to the resting barrel mainspring.  Pierced and engraved cock with polished steel coqueret, silver index on the plate.  Plain three arm gilt balance with blue steel spiral hairspring.  Very rare flat wheel cylinder escapement with polished steel cylinder and brass escape wheel.  Small circular white enamel dial with and Arabic numerals, pierced gilt hands.  Gold oval mask, two colour gold decoration above and to the sides of the dial.  Below a circular cartouche of three colour gold decoration.  Gold oval case, both lids painted in Vernis Martin lacquer work on the outside faces with cherubs.  The inside of the covers similarly decorated with portraits of well dressed ladies.

An attractive and unusual watch.  This form of cylinder escapement is very rare.  Although its action is similar to a standard cylinder the amplitude of the balance is very restricted.  It was probably employed here to enable the watch to be constructed with very limited space between the plates.  More commonly found on larger items, such as furniture, Vernis Martin lacquer became popular in the late 18th Century.  Named after the Martin brothers of Paris who were inspired by Chinese lacquer work.