You may have heard of a few or more of the following historical people and events: Thomas Mudge, George Graham, John Harrison, the Longitude Prize, Captain James Cook, and the mutiny on the ‘HMS Bounty.’ However, you are less likely to have heard the name of a horologist who played a pivotal role in all of the above: Larcum Kendall (1719–1790). Come with me on a worldwide adventure involving timekeeping and history.
In 1783, just as the queen of France, Marie Antoinette, was sitting for a portrait, an officer of the queen’s guard visited Abraham-Louis Breguet’s workshop: Queen Marie Antoinette desired a pocket watch containing all known horological complications at the time. It took 44 years to complete and is perhaps the most famous watch in history, as much for its intriguing story as its ingenious mechanics.
Following part one and two of this series of auctions, the third in this four-part series by Sotheby’s called Masterworks of Time is entitled “Abraham-Louis Breguet, Horologist Extraordinaire.” Extraordinarily, this auction comprising only pocket watches by Breguet and other masters will take place online, beginning on June 3, 2020 at 4:00 pm CET.
When Bhanu Chropra visited Israel on a business trip in 2019, a colleague suggested a short visit to see the historically important sites in Jerusalem, and knowing his passion for horology said that he had a special surprise for him: visiting the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art. The museum holds one of the world’s most horologically significant pocket watch, clock, and automaton collections, and the star of the show is Breguet No. 160, aka “the Marie Antoinette.”
Last year, Colin Alexander Smith’s mother showed him a silver pocket watch. All she could tell him about it was that it had belonged to his grandfather. The watch appeared to be older than his grandfather, though, and he embarked upon a quest to identify it and discover the original owner. The story took a few interesting turns as he reveals here in a truly interesting trace of the origins.
To celebrate Jaquet Droz’s 280th anniversary, the brand wanted something very special: the unique piece Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch features miniature painting, oven-fired enamel painting, hand-engraving, bas relief engraving, paillonné, and gem setting. Every visible surface has been lovingly attended to in a rich pallet of arts and crafts. Job done!
The Seiko Credor GXBE998 pocket watch’s “secret” is an engraving that celebrates life. The brand’s artists honor Credor’s 45th anniversary with something truly unique: a three-dimensional hand-engraving of the tree of life, which is a significant concept in both the Shinto and Buddhist religions.
Derek Weinberg is of the opinion that the pocket watch has always been a timepiece of great elegance, capturing attention and becoming a great subject of discussion and intrigue. What is the current state of this timepiece style, though? Find out right here.