Pale gilt three-quarter plate going-barrel movement (hunter set) jewelled to the 3rd, numbered 56517 under the dial, in imitation of the Patent keyless watches being made by the Nicole & Capt firm working in London. Single-roller detached lever escapement, again in imitation of English work, even having ‘covered’ rather than ‘exposed’ pallet jewels. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Two-piece enamel dial with seconds at 9, in perfect condition, with the original blued-steel hands. 42 mm diameter.
Adolphe Nicole & Jules Capt, (later becoming Nicole Nielsen) manufacturers of the first successful ‘machine-made’ keyless watches that could be wound and set without opening the case. Adolphe Nicole, Patent No 10,348 of October 1844, includes, amongst other important features, the first commercially successful keyless work for both going-barrel and fusee watches.
NB: For most of two hundred years or so Swiss watchmakers were masters at copying and imitating the innovative work coming out of London and Paris, and they did this both knowingly and openly. Patented designs were often plagiarised and the Swiss copiers will not have seen anything wrong in doing so as the legality around copying was slow to enter what was a large but disparate industry doing its best to survive in a land-locked country made up of independent Cantons. The protection afforded by Patents, along with the associated rights provided to intellectual property, did not arrive in what we now know as Switzerland until 1880; this in contrast with the first English horological Patent taken out over two-hundred years earlier, in 1661.
A most interesting document of Swiss work, in good original if dusty condition, and a rare survival I think as I have not seen another. Nothing appears broken but it does not want to tick if pressure is applied. Sold as needing at least a clean and fresh oil in order to work properly.