Tardy, "Les Plus Belles Pendules Françaises", 1994, p. 121, illustrating an identical case.
A very rare and fine quality Empire gilt bronze coach or saddle watch, signed on the white enamel dial Robert & Courvoisier and signed on the movement Droz, the dium with Arabic nneerals and a subsidiary calendar dial, with a pair of blued steel hands for the hours and minutes and a blued steel pointer to indicate the days of the month, with grande sonnerie and petite sonnerie, silent or strike. The attractive rectangular gilt brass case signed A. B. with hanging ring above and folding stand behind, the front cast with a ribbon-tied floral garland above the dial and musical instruments and flowers below
La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, date circa 1815
Height 15 cm, width 10 cm, depth 3 cm.
Before the advent of the railway during the 1830's, travel by horse and coach was the main form of inland transport. The most affluent travellers would take with them a travelling watch such as this, which could be hung from its ring at the top, either from the saddle or more likely inside the coach itself. At the end of the journey it could also stand upon a surface to be used as a clock.
As here, most examples were fitted with high quality movements and with their beautifully decorated cases were very much luxury items. This piece has the addition of both petite and grande sonnerie as well as the option of strike or silent. Such examples are very rare.