- Museum number
Minute-repeating alarm watch.
Lever escapement; spherical balance spring; keyless.
- Production date
Diameter: 43.60 millimetres (dial)
Thickness: 13.70 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Comment from Richard Good, Catalogue of Watches in the British Museum. Vol. V (Unpublished manuscript)
Made by J M Badolet & Cie.(1)
Geneva, Switzerland, c. 1900
Minute repeating alarm watch movement with going barrels and with club tooth lever escapement
Signature: None, but name stamped under dial and a number on the front plate (see under Ebauche Marks.)
Dial and Hands: Flat canister dial with sunk subsidiary second dial. Scratched on the back of the dial 67617 with the number 67155 scratched out. Blued-steel spade hands, blued-steel alarm and seconds hands.
Ebauche Marks: J M Badolet and CIE Geneve Under the barrel bridge on the front plate is 67617
Frame: Nickel silver frame, complex bridge and cock layout, the three trains being housed separately. A steel pallet cock. Although the barrels are constructed as hanging barrels their bottom pivots are nevertheless supported.
Barrels and Mainsprings:
Barrel I. diameter 13.0 mm., height 3.0 mm.
Mainspring height 2.75 mm., thickness 0.12 mm.
Arbor diameter 4.2 mm., not snailed.
Barrel internal diameter11.0mm h.2.7mm
Mainspring: h. 2.4 mm., thickness 0.11 mm.
Arbor: diameter 4.0 mm., not snailed.
Train: Wheels of gold, the going train wheels with 5 crossings the escape wheel with 4 crossings, all other wheels solid.
Jewelled: Throughout, with the exception of the barrels and the centre pivot in the front plate. Ruby endstones throughout the escapement, with a steel end plate containing the jewel in the steel pallet cock. The ruby endstones in the balance cock in a screwed steel setting. All the other jewels rubbed in.
Escapement: Club tooth lever, straight line layout, short lever, double roller, impulse pin triangular in section. A mixed escapement. Pallet stones exposed, the lever with poising extensions. Escape wheel of steel, the teeth chamfered both sides and mounted on a gold boss.
Balance: A split bimetallic balance with, most unusually in a Swiss watch, 2 timing nuts of gold, also gold compensation screws. The balance diameter 13.6 mm., thickness 1.25 mm. Blued-steel spherical spring with 9 turns and terminal curves at both ends.
Means of Regulation: Free sprung hence the timing nuts must be used for regulation.
Train Counts and Beat Rate:
Great wheel (barrel) 76
Intermediate wheel 20
Centre wheel 80 pinion 10
Third wheel 75 pinion 10
Fourth wheel 70 pinion 10
Escape wheel 15 pinion 7
Beat rate 18,000
Motion Work: cannon pinion 12
minute wheel 36, minute pinion 10
hour wheel 40
Alarm Mechanism: Works in the usual way with a tit on the hour wheel dropping into a depression in the alarm wheel to release the alarm train through the agency of a lever which bears continuously on the hour wheel. The alarm in struck by two hammers on a pair of gongs specifically for the alarm. The speed of rotation of the alarm train is governed by a depthed pinion.
Repeating Mechanism: Is of the standard variety and despite the sophistication of the watch is not furnished with an isolator for the flirt operating lever. The speed of rotation of the train is controlled by a tic-tac type escapement.
Keyless work: Positive set. There are two side setting pieces controlling two castle wheels, one for hand setting, one for setting the alarm, a most unusual arrangement.
Dimensions: Movement diameter 43.0 mm., height 13.3 mm
Provenance: formerly in the Ilbert collection. Ilbert purchased this from Bentley 5/11/1934
(1) Badolet were fine makers not only as evidence by this superb watch but also as the people who achieved the best results in the first of the Geneva watch trails organised in 1873. The following is taken from The Technique and History of the Swiss Watch p 209.
"We may now look at the results of the progress made in Switzerland in the field of chronometry, and at the effects of the various competitions and trials which were organised in Switzerland and in other countries.
We may conveniently begin with the Observatory of Geneva and the watch trials organised by the Section for Industry of the Society of Arts.
The earliest of these, in 1873, made provision for tests lasting 45 days distributed as follows: - 15 days flat (dial up), 15 hanging (pendant up), and 15 flat at differing temperatures (7 days at the "ambient" temperature, 1 day in the warm temperature and a further 7 days as before).
The firm of J.-M. Badolet obtained the best results with 267.9 marks out of 350, and was awarded the prize of 400 francs. In 1874-75, the verification of the watch with the pendant up, to the right, at the bottom and to the left, and with the dial up and down, was introduced. The duration of the tests was increased from 45 to 51 days, composed of 7 periods of 7 days, with two further period of one day each in the cold and the warm temperatures.
There were four characteristics observed in the trial: 1) the mean variation of daily rated, limit 0.80 second; 2) the variation occasioned by a change of position, limit 3 seconds; 3) the error in compensation for 1° centigrade, limit 0.20 second; 4) the recovery of rate after temperature tests limit, 2.5 seconds.
The same firm won the prize, and the winner of the competition for a group of watches was H.-R. Ekegren, who had presented eight. Ekegren, a maker and timer, won the First Prize in the following year.
The tests became almost twice as difficult in 1878-9; the limits for the four tests were reduced to 1) + 0.050 second; 2) + 1.5 seconds and 3) + 0.17 second. The firm of Henri Capt won the prize, with a record performance."
- Not on display
- Latest: 3 (2017)
- 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.1238 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: N207 (Ilbert Ledger)