Silver Pod Shaped Pre-Hairspring Form Watch signed Pierre Combret, Lyon.
The exquisite silver case being profusely pierced and engraved to the front and back hinged covers and the convex band, having fixed pendant with loose ring bow and bottom finial. The similarly engraved silver dial plate with locating fixtures and applied gilt chapter ring with engraved Roman numerals and single, heavy blued steel hand. The hinged, fusee and gut movement with pre-hairspring verge escapement, balance cock with irregular foot and baluster pillars, being signed Pierre Combret Lyon, together with its original leather covered carrying case.
This is a most interesting piece believed to be a copy of a watch by the celebrated late 16th/early 17th century French maker, Pierre Combret. This example dates from about 1800, a time when it was fashionable for wealthy European collectors to commission copies of historically interesting works of art, including watches. Although the watch has been made without a hairspring, there has been no attempt to disguise the later pillars, fusee and wheelwork, all of which are typical of the late 18th century. It is thought that these pieces were never intended to function, their purpose being to demonstrate the high level of skill required to create a watch by hand at a time when machine production was increasing rapidly.