- Museum number
SILVER CASED LEVER WATCH WITH TOURBILLON AND CENTRE-SECONDS.
Lever escapement; tourbillon.
Silver case; centre of back glazed to reveal the carriage.
- Production date
Diameter: 53.10 millimetres (case)
Diameter: 43.90 millimetres (dial)
Diameter: 27.20 millimetres (glazed aperture in back)
Thickness: 16 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Comment from Richard Good, Catalogue of Watches in the British Museum. Vol. V (Unpublished manuscript)
Made by Courvoisier Frères (Mobilis)
La Chaux-de-Fonds, c. 1915
Type of Watch: Silver cased centre-seconds watch with a club tooth lever escapement and tourbillon
Signature: On the dial 'Fureur TOURBILLON SWISS MADE'
On the back plate 'SWISS MADE' and on the carriage 'FUREUR', the Helvetia cross and '34394'.(1)
Case: An open face silver case with hinged glazed back and snap-on bezel. The back marked 0,935 in a rectangle, numbered 114616 and with three quality marks for Le Noirmont (in a shield, a bear rampant with a lower case letter n to the left). The pendant button is gold and the silver bow is marked with quality marks and a maker's mark, JP in an oval. The carriage is visible through a glazed aperture in the back of the case. The front glass is missing.
Dial and Hands: Flat dial with centre-seconds and a subsidiary dial for hours and minutes. Arabic hour numerals. The seconds circle divided into 1/5th seconds and numbered at every five seconds, another seconds circle within this shows full seconds. The dial is secured by two screws passing through the edge of the front plate. Blued-steel spade pattern hour and minute hands, blued-steel centre-seconds hand.
Dial-plate: None intended.
Dust-cap: None intended.
Ebauche Marks: 114616
Frame: Full plate construction, the back plate cut out in the centre for the tourbillon carriage and also with a shallow blind recess for the barrel. The back plate supported by three cylindrical pillars and secured by screws. There is a large block between the plates at XII. The back plate is numbered 616 on the inside. A large potence screwed to the inside of the front plate carries the fixed fourth wheel. There is also a large central bridge, with engraved decoration, on the back plate with a bearing for the carriage. Both the carriage and its bridge are numbered 16.
Barrel and Mainspring:
Barrel: going barrel with a recessed cover; barrel internal diameter 17.1 mm, height 2.00 mm.
Mainspring: height 2.00 mm, thickness 0.20 mm
Barrel Arbor: diameter 5.0 mm., snailed
Hooking: a square hook is pressed from the barrel wall.
Train: The wheels are gilded on one side only. The second and third wheels have five crossings. The fourth wheel is centrally mounted and fixed to the frame. The fourth pinion is integral with the carriage.
Carriage: Gilded brass, with a combined bridge for the pallets and escape wheel and a bridge for the balance. The balance and escape wheel mounted on opposite sides of the carriage with the lever between. The carriage is badly out of poise. The lever is pierced and encircles the central fourth wheel arbor. The centrally pivoted carriage, with the fourth pinion on its arbors driven by the third wheel, revolves around the fixed fourth wheel. The teeth of the fourth wheel mesh with the escape pinion. The carriage, which revolves once per minute, has an extended front pivot to carry the centre-seconds hand.
Jewelling: Jewelled bearings for the carriage pivot, in its bridge and at the escapement, the balance jewels with ruby endstones, all the jewels are rubbed in.
Escapement: A straight-line layout club tooth lever escapement with long lever, double roller and an elliptical impulse pin. The pallet staff is screwed in. The pallet stones are exposed but the exit stone is now missing, the entrance pallet has flat acting faces. The steel escape wheel has chamfered teeth and has four crossings. The front escape wheel pivot is broken.
An equal impulse escapement.
Number of teeth embraced 32.
Balance and Spring: A split bimetallic balance, but it is not cut through and therefore does not compensate for changes in temperature. Balance diameter 10.7 mm, thickness 0.6 mm. A blued-steel flat spiral spring with 12 turns pinned to a stud on the escapement bridge on the carriage. The balance staff is broken.
Means of Regulation: An index on the escapement bridge does not register against a divided scale but traverses between the letters 'A' and 'R' engraved at each side of the bridge.
Train Counts and Beat Rate:
Great wheel 80 (barrel)
Second wheel 80 pinion 12
Third wheel 74 pinion 10
fourth wheel 60 (fixed)
Fourth pinion 10 (carriage)(centre-seconds)
Escape wheel 15 pinion 6
Beat rate: 18,000
Motion work: Cannon pinion 10
minute wheel 30, minute pinion 8
hour wheel 32.
Winding System: Side set, positive keyless work with the stem in two parts.
Case: diameter 53.0 mm, height 16.0 mm.
Movement: diameter 45.2mm, height 13.5 mm, pillar height 3.2 mm
Provenance: Formerly in the Ilbert collection. Ilbert purchased this from President 8/4/1938.
(1) Patent, No. 34394 for this tourbillon design was granted in Switzerland to Louis & Edouard Fallet et Fils of St Imier, in 1905, after which other firms manufactured the escapement under licence. MOBILIS is the trade name registered on January 24, 1910 by Courvoisier Frères in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The patent for this system was also granted in England to J. Burtin on 13th April 1905, no.7888.
A virtually identical watch is in the Science Museum London Collections (reg. no. 1938-318), illustrated in Reinhard Meis, 'Das Tourbillon', p.313, pl.455-457.
For a watches with a similar tourbillon also made by Mobilis see cat. nos. 274 and 275 (registration nos. 1958,1201.1123 and 1203).
- Not on display
Latest: 3 (2017)
2 (Jan 1997)
3 (Jan 1995) Glass missing
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Following the successful acquisition of the celebrated Ilbert collection of clocks (1958,1006 collection), prints and other related materials made possible by the generous donation of funds by Gilbert Edgar CBE Ilbert's watches were then acquired using funds provided by Gilbert Edgar, public donations and government funds.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: CAI.1201 (Ilbert Collection)