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Pocket Watches

Complicated and Elaborate, Pocket Watches Are Essential Accessories for Lovers of Nineteenth-Century Memorabilia
Nancy Wolfson
From the Print Edition:
George Burns, Winter 94/95

(continued from page 2)

The Marie Antoinette watch stolen from the Islamic museum was the most complicated watch of its time. Its plates, bridges and wheels were gold and every possible surface was jewelled with sapphires. Completed in 1827 and acknowledged as Breguet's masterpiece, the watch was a manifestation of the state of horological science at that time. Sir David Salomons, Breguet's biographer, was the last legitimate owner of the Marie Antoinette piece. "To carry a fine Breguet watch is to feel that you have the brains of a genius in your pocket," he once said.

Carrying a pocket watch is more than a fashion. It is a ritual. Taking it out of your pocket, setting the hands, winding it up, listening to the chimes and watching it work "is more amusing than glancing at something strapped to your wrist," says Daniels. "One's got to pass the time somehow, doesn't one?"

Nancy Wolfson is a free lance writer who lives in New York City.

A Guide for the Potential Collector

AUCTION HOUSES

Subscribe to the catalogs that give a detailed description of each piece for sale, including any defects and an estimated price. Go to the presale public exhibition where you can handle the watches and query the experts. Track market prices by obtaining an after-sale price list, comparing these numbers with catalog estimates.

Antiquorum
1, rue du Mont-Blanc, 1201 Geneva Switzerland
Phone: 41-22-738-0222 Fax: 41-22-738-0171
Also offers a catalog of books on horology

Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.
502 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10022
Catalog subscriptions: Phone: (800) 395-6300,(212) 546-1000 Fax: (212) 980-8163

Sotheby's
1334 York Avenue, New York, New York 10021
Catalog subscriptions: Phone: (800) 444-3709, (212) 606-7162 Fax: (212) 606-7014

HOROLOGY MUSEUMS


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