- Museum number
GOLD-CASED LEVER WATCH WITH CENTRE-SECONDS AND QUARTER-REPEAT.
Pendant-operated quarter-repeat; sounding on two gongs.
Lever-escapement; Pouzait-type; balance beats seconds.
White enamel dial; Arabic hours 1-12, minutes 5-75.
Blued steel hands with gold applied flowers; centre-seconds hand missing.
Gold open-faced case with engine-turned decoration.
Diameter: 59.50 millimetres (case)
Diameter: 56.10 millimetres (dial)
Thickness: 24.40 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Comment from Richard Good, Catalogue of Watches in the British Museum. Vol. V (Unpublished manuscript)
France or possibly Switzerland, c.1800
Gold cased Pouzait-type pin-wheel lever watch with 3 repeat, military counting mechanism and stop mechanism.
Case: Gold case with engine-turned back and reeded band, the back decorated with fine flutes radiating from an oval cartouche at the bottom, the cartouche engraved with the initials SK. A hinged dome with holes for winding and hand-set, the latter with a direction arrow. The back is punched 'AIR (or AIP?) 6150 K18 350' on the inside. The case is furnished with a pendant stop so that the repeat mechanism cannot be operated accidentally.
Dial and Hands: A domed dial with Arabic numerals, the outer circle numbered 5, 10, 15, etc - 75. Blued-steel hands each with an applied gold flower. The centre-mounted military counter hand is missing.
Dial-plate: No dial-plate intended, the dial is pinned directly to the movement front plate which is recessed to accommodate the under-dial work.
Dust-cap: None intended.
Ebauche Marks: None.
Frame: Full-plate construction, the back plate supported by four turned pillars. The large balance cock has a pierced table and the foot is engraved with scrolling foliage. The back plate is cut away to provide clearance for the barrel which bears in a polished steel bridge. The central area of the front plate is partially cut away and recessed to accommodate a circular brass plate, retained by two screws, which acts as a bridge for the third wheel pinion and the escape wheel. It also carries a steel pipe for the fourth wheel. The pallets and balance pivots bear in a brass cock with a screwed-on polished-steel end-plate to which is screwed a polished steel cocqueret for the balance pivot. The barrel ratchet and ratchet wheel are held by a cock under the dial. The barrel ratchet and ratchet wheel are held by a cock under the dial. The front and back plates are punched '350' on the inside.
Barrel, and Mainspring:
Barrel: Going barrel with continental stop-work allowing five turns of wind. The visible base of the barrel is engraved with scrolling foliage. The ungilded barrel cap is scratched '50'. Barrel internal diameter: 18.0 mm, height 4.20 mm. The barrel wall has fractured and has been repaired with a steel plate rivetted on the inside and tongued into the base and cap. The number '350' scratched on the inside.
Mainspring: height 2.54 mm, thickness 0.23 mm.
Barrel Arbor: diameter 5.1 mm, a two part arbor with the central steel portion, the brass part of the arbor is not snailed.
Train: Plain brass wheels, the off-set centre wheel with five crossings, the third wheel with four crossings and the fourth wheel solid.
Jewelling: There are no jewels but there are polished steel coquerets for the pallet and balance pivots.
Escapement: A Pouzait-type lever escapement with a steel pin wheel with inserted steel pins(1). The steel escape wheel and pinion are crudely made. Conventional safety action with a small roller. The very long dart is pushed into the pallet arbor. Steel pallets with one broken horn. A wide steel impulse piece mounted on the balance staff directly underneath the balance.
Balance & Spring: A flat-rim, five-arm gold balance, diameter 33.8 mm, thickness 0.7 mm. A flat spiral blued-steel spring of seven turns attached to a pinned stud mounted on the balance cock.
Means of Regulation: An index registering against a raised divided scale with both 'FAST' 'SLOV'(sic) and 'A' and 'R' engraved on the balance cock.
Train Counts and Beat Rate:
Great wheel 70 (barrel)
Centre wheel 64 pinion 10
Third wheel 60 pinion 8
Fourth wheel 30 pinion 8
Escape wheel 15 pinion 12
Beat Rate: 4,500 (75 beats a minute)
Motion work: cannon wheel 36
minute wheel 36, minute pinion 6
hour wheel 72
Winding Mechanism: Key wound.
Repeat mechanism: Pendant-operated quarter repeat mechanism with a chain linking the plunger operated lever to the repeating barrel arbor. Conventional quarter repeating work with all or nothing piece. All the train wheels are solid and un-gilded. Speed control is by an adjustable depth fly pinion but there is no a scale on the back plate to aid adjustment. There are two blued-steel round section gongs mounted on the movement front plate.
Great wheel 54 (barrel)
Second wheel 36 pinion 7
Third wheel 32 pinion 6
Fourth wheel 32 pinion 6
Fifth wheel 32 pinion 6
Fly pinion 6
The 3 repeat cannon wheel 36.
Barrel: a standing barrel, internal diameter 10.7 mm, height 2.2 mm. The movement back plate is recessed to accommodate the mainspring.
Mainspring: height 1.91 mm, thickness 0.14 mm.
Barrel arbor: diameter 3.3 mm, not snailed.
Hooking: the mainspring passes through a slit cut in the barrel wall and projects about 3 turn to hook on an external round hook. The visible end of the blued-steel mainspring is un-blued and highly polished.
Stop mechanism: A slot in the edge of the front plate is inscribed 'A' and 'M' for Arrêt and Marche. All the components of the stop mechanism are now missing.
Case: diameter 59.0mm, height 29.2 mm over the glass.
Movement: diameter 55.5 mm, pillar height 3.8 mm.
Provenance: Formerly in the Ilbert Collection. Ilbert purchased this from Todhunter in December 1930 or February 1931.
(1) These pins are only 0.11 mm diameter.
This "Compteur Militaire" is for controlling the marching pace of infantry. In the French army of the Consulat and the 1st Empire various marching speeds were known and beaten by the drum. 75 paces per minute was the 'cadence normale' (normal marching speed) used on parade. See Joachim Mauss, "A 'Compteur Militaire' Pocket Watch", 'Antiquarian Horology', vol. XVII (winter 1987), pp. 145 7. Also Daniels, Breguet, p.260.
- Not on display
- Latest: 4 (2017) verdigris on balance spring cock
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: CAI.0965 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: H42 (Ilbert Ledger)