Gold Watch no. 20
Case: Gold, hunting
Dial: White enamel, Roman numerals, blued steel Breguet hands
18?? - Potter, Geneve
2008 - Jones Horan 27 Apr 2008
2017 - Dr Crott auction, 18 Nov 2017, est euro 8,500-15,000, " Albert H. Potter & Co., Geneva, Movement No. 20, 52 mm, 135 g, circa 1875
A precision hunting case pocket watch with Potter's patented movement design - with detailed documentation and copies of Potter's patents
Case: 18k gold, monogrammed on both sides, tiered, polished, à goutte, signed, punched, glazed movement. Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, auxiliary seconds, signed, blued Breguet hands. Movm.: specially designed bridge movement "AP", nickel-plated, "fausses côtes" decoration, gold screw compensation balance.
Albert H. Potter (1836-1908)
Potter was born in Mechanicville, N.Y. in 1836. He completed a three-year apprenticeship with Wood & Foley in Albany in 1855 and subsequently opened a repair shop in New York. In addition to the repair work he built some thirty five gold-cased three-quarter plate movements, some of them with lever and some with detent escapements, which he sold for $225 to $350. In 1861 Potter went to Cuba where he stayed for five years and continued with much the same kind of work, adding to his designs a quarter repeater and a form of duplex escapement. After getting back to New York he obtained his first escapement patent in 1868 and moved to the West soon afterwards. He stayed in Minneapolis and possibly Milwaukee for a little while but settled in Chicago agound 1870. In 1872 he started the company Potter Brothers together with his brother William Cleveland Potter; the firm was dissolved in 1875 but W.C. Potter continued the business until his death. Before leaving the United States in 1875 for Geneva where he would spend the remaining 33 years of his life, Albert took out several patents on compensation balances and improvements in watch escapements, assigning one half of his rights to John H. McMillan of Chicago (who may have been Potter's partner in his early ventures in Switzerland). During his time in Chicago Potter had designed and built a pocket chronometer which may be considered his masterpiece. It was the prototype for several pieces he produced in Geneva, where he obtained his Permis d'Etablissement on February 11, 1876. In an article in the Horological Journal of May 1882, Potter stated that he had invented and made drawings and working models of fourteen different escapements.
Estimate 8,500 - 15,000 €"