Pair-case repeating watch

Watchmaker: John Champion British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 512

The hours and minutes are in Chinese characters on this British watch made for export to China. The painting of the characters suggests the hand of a European craftsman not entirely comfortable with Chinese calligraphy. They correspond to the twice - twelve division of the day customary in the West and do not relate to traditional Chinese methods of dividing the day, which are too complex to fit on a simple watch dial.

#413. Retail Value. High and Low

Pair-case repeating watch, Watchmaker: John Champion (British, 1730–1779), Outer case: glass and gold set with diamonds, pearls, emeralds, and rubies; Inner case: gold; Dial: white enamel with black painted Chinese characters and blued steel hands; Movement: gilded brass and partly blued steel, British, London, made for Chinese market

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