Large movement with fully signed sprung cuvette, including directions for winding and hand setting and the triple fleur-de-lys, attached to an extended bottom plate that also acts as a permanent rim cap – Lepine’s clever and influential design that changed how watches were made. Standing barrel and with both trains of Lepine’s ‘wolf’s tooth’ form, including pinions, and the quarter-repeating train under the dial with twin hammers hitting the rim (dumb). Virgule escapement with rare gold escape wheel. Gilt balance, spiral balance-spring. 50 mm diameter, 9 mm deep, not including centre arbor or dial.
Jean Antoine Lepine (1720-1814), one of the most underrated and influential watchmakers of all time. Lepine’s new caliper of movement has the train supported by separate cocks and/or bars on a single plate rather than between the standard two plates. This allowed a far greater variety of design options when planning any caliper of movement, plain or complicated, and is one of the main stepping stones to the modern watch. A-L Breguet, in particular, owes a great deal to Lepine, not just the so-called ‘Breguet hands’ and ‘Breguet numerals’ which were first used by Lepine – see the book on Lepine by Addie Chapiro for more information.
This must have once been one of Lepine’s finest watches, and a rare chance to obtain a movement that has his repeating work and his unusual train, as well as retaining its original virgule escape wheel, so many of which seem to have been later changed to cylinder. Lacking dial, motion work, hands, the centre pin of the hollow centre arbor and balance staff. Otherwise complete and in good condition, bearing a past collector’s number 207. Not working.