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Cylinder Watch

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Cylinder Watch

Artist: Abraham-Louis Breguet (Paris, France; active 1795-1820)

Date: c. 1820
Medium: Gold, enamel, steel
58.7 x 44.5 x 6.4 mm
Markings: Cuvette: "No 47028, Aiguilles, Breguet, ECHAPT A CYLINDRE 4 TROUS EN RUBIS" Case: French HM 1817-1838 for 18K, incuse punch "3,47028"
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Frederick T. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 1023.34
Label Text
The inclusion of trophies of arms (flags, a shield, and a drum) and the use of rose and blue enamel are decorative features common to watches destined for the Turkish market.

Text Entries

Watches made for the Turkish trade did not always have Turkish chapters. Some, like this watch, were made in the style associated with this market but with Roman chapters. This cylinder watch was marketed through Breguet, whose name appears on the cuvette. The watch is designed with a segmented case divided into twelve pie-shaped panels decorated with scenes of flowers on a pink ground alternating with trophies of music, love, and arms on a turquoise ground. A small center medallion has a flower motif. The inclusion of trophies of arms as well as the use of rose and blue are common decorative features in watches destined for the Turkish market. The mark, “Aiguilles,” refers to the needle-shaped hands.

Segmented lids with pie-shaped panels radiating from a central panel are also found on early nineteenth-century snuff boxes. On one example, in the Hermitage collection in St. Petersburg, Russia, the lid is divided into sixteen panels with fruits or flowers surrounding an enamel painting of a harbor scene with ships in the center. Along the side are musical instruments and flower motifs, while the inside lid shows an enamel painting of a Swiss landscape.(1)

1. For an illustration, see Larissa Yakovleva, Artistic Enamels from the Hermitage Collection: Swiss Watches and Snuff-boxes, 17th-20th Centuries, trans. by Alexandra George (St. Petersburg: The State Hermitage, 1997), p. 72.