Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Watch

Maker:
Watchmaker: François Czapek (Bohemian, 1811–before 1895)
Date:
ca. 1850–55
Culture:
Swiss, Geneva
Medium:
Case: partly enameled gold; Dial: white enamel with gold hands; Movement: gilded brass and steel
Dimensions:
Overall: 2 1/2 × 1 3/4 × 1/2 in. (6.4 × 4.4 × 1.3 cm); Diameter (plate): 1 9/16 in. (4 cm)
Classification:
Horology
Credit Line:
Bequest of Vladimir M. Eitingon, in memory of his parents, Michail and Betty Eitingon, 1982
Accession Number:
1983.183.5
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 554
On the back cover of the case is a portrait of the Russian czar Nicholas I (r. 1825–55) in painted enamel, indicating that the watch was probably commissioned as a present to a subject in recognition of loyalty or service. The movement, with separate cocks for the train of wheels, has jeweled end stones, a lever escapement, a temperature-compensated balance wheel, and a keyless stem-winding mechanism. It is a very early example of a stem-winding movement, made by the original partner in the firm that became Patek-Philippe, still in existence in Geneva. The mechanism is the earliest practical one to have been produced in quantity. It was invented by Antoine Norbert de Patek's subsequent partner Jean-Adrien Philippe (1815–1894) and patented in 1845.
Signature: Signed on inside of back cover: CZAPEK/ ET CIE/ A GENEVE

Signed on bridge of going barrel of movement: Czapek & Cie / A GENÈVE/ N 2478
Vladimir M. Eitingon (until 1982; bequeathed to MMA)
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