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Pair-case Watch with Alarm

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Pair-case Watch with Alarm

Artist: Estienne Hubert (Rouen, France; active 1659 - 1694)

Date: 1675-1700
Medium: Silver, brass, steel
69.9 x 50.8 x 32 mm
Markings: Movement: "A Rouen Estienne Hubert" Outer case: incuse "WS", crown above
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Frederick T. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 242
Text Entries

By the mid-seventeenth century the watch had evolved to a round form, and the open work lid had been replaced with a full lid or glass bezel. The case was usually ornamented with stylized or naturalistic floral motifs that were often repeated on the band; the underside would be engraved or chased in a foliate design. This watch typifies the style after 1660. It is round, in keeping with the new fashion, and is decorated around the chapter ring with a chased stylized floral design. The band is pierced with leafy scrolls and flowers within a corded border. The underside of the case is engraved in the center with a six-petaled flower; the hinged split-ring bezel, set with glass, is engraved with husks. Though an exact fit, the plain outer case seems to date to about 1700 and is probably not contemporary to the watch.(1)

Noted French watchmaker Etienne Hubert, whose father had been governor of the Rouen town clock from 1612 to 1650, designed and created this watch.(2)


1. This finding results from Dr. Jonathan Snellenburg’s analysis of the watch, an expert in antiquarian horology.

2. Tardy, with contributions by Paul Brateau. Dictionnaire des horlogers francais (Paris: Tardy, 1972), p. 310; G. H. Baillie, C. Clutton, and C. A. Ilbert, Britten's Old Clocks and Watches and TTheirMakers (7th ed. New York: Bonanza Books, 1956), p. 407.