Case: rock crystal mounted in gilded brass; Dial: silver and black enamel with gilded-brass hand; Movement: gilded brass and partly blued steel
Diameter (case): 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm); Diameter (back plate): 1 5/16 in. (3.3 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Not on view
Constantijn Huygens wrote to his brother, the brilliant mathematician Christiaan Huygens, from Geneva on January 5, 1650, that he had just bought a watch "á la mode" with a case of rock crystal that permitted a view of the movement such as one would see if the case were made of ice. Indeed, Geneva was well-known for its rock crystal watchcases made from a local source of the mineral. The movement of this watch has a verge escapement, and it is probably the product of the younger Jean Rousseau, a son of a master clockmaker in Geneva and the great-grandfather of the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Signature: Signed on back plate: Jean Rousseau
Roux ; Leboeuf de Mongermont (until 1891; Leboeuf de Montgermont Collection Sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, May 25-30, 1891, no. 174; illus.); Carl Heinrich Marfels ; J. Pierpont Morgan (until 1917; to MMA)
Artist: Watchmaker: Lambertus Vrythoff (recorded 1724–69)Date: case ca. 1645, movement ca. 1750Medium: Case and dial: enameled gold; Movement: gilded brass and steel, partly bluedAccession: 17.190.1413On view in:Gallery 532