Watch Data

Gold Repeating Watch no. 336




18?? - Potter, Geneve

2004 - Antiquorum, est $18-23,000, sold $19,550, "Albert H. Potter & Co. Geneva, No. 336. Produced in 1888. Very fine and rare, hunting cased, keyless, minute repeating, 18K yellow gold pocket watch. C. Three-body, "bassine", solid, polished, engraved dedication inside the cover, case back and cover with ornamental engravings.D. White enamel with painted radial Roman numerals, sunk subsidiary seconds dial. Blued steel "Breguet" hands. M. Cal. 43 mm (19???), rhodium-plated, 29 jewels, straight line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance, blued steel Breguet balance-spring. Repeating on gongs through activating slide on the band.Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 53 mm. Notes Albert H. Potter (1836-1908). Born in Mechanicville, New York, Albert Potter began his apprenticeship in 1852 in Albany. He then established himself in New York, where he made some thirty five three-quarter plate movements, part with lever and part with detent escapements, cased in gold, which he sold for $225 to $350. In 1861 he went to Cuba where he continued similar work for five years, adding to his designs a quarter repeater and a form of duplex escapement. Back in New York, he took out his first escapement patent in 1868 and soon afterwards moved to the West. By 1870 he had settled in Chicago. In 1872, he and his brother William Cleveland Potter, organised the firm Potter Brothers, which was dissolved in 1875. In October 1875, Potter took out patents on compensation balances and improvements in escapements for watches. While in Chicago, Potter designed and built a pocket chronometer which may be considered his masterpiece. This watch was the prototype from which he made several examples in Geneva, where he obtained his Permis d?Etablissement on February 11, 1876. In an article in the Horological Journal of May 1882, Potter wrote that he invented, made drawings and working models of fourteen different escapements. Among these was also a tourbillon lever escapement which had a stationary escape wheel and the anchor moving around with the cage five times per minute. As an improvement to that escapement, Potter took a patent in 1886 for an escapement without escape wheel, first invented by Deshay in 1825 and again exhibited by Mac Dowell at the London Exhibition of 1855. This patent, with others pertaining to the Charmilles watch, was assigned to the New Haven Watch Company for a reputed US$50, 00. The ?Charmilles? watch was an attempt to produce good timekeeping movements at low prices. Albert H. Potter died on January 25, 1908, 23, rue Tronchin, in Geneva. "

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