A pair of matching Swiss mirror-image gold and enamel watches, made for the Chinese market, c.1850. The watches, signed Vaucher à Fleurier, have highly polished steel movements with rare bimetallic balances. The watches come with their original presentation box. • Diameters: 58 mm. • Note: The introduction of watchmaking in Fleurier, near La Chaux-de-Fonds, began with David-Jean-Jacques-Henri Vaucher as early as 1730. This sector grew rapidly and there were as many as 15 watchmakers in Fleurier by 1750. The figure soared to 106 in 1794, representing a little over 13% of the population. From 1820 onwards, and thanks to improved trade with China (Canton), Edouard Bovet and his brothers gave a spectacular boost to the watchmaking business with the production of Chinese calibers. They held a virtual monopoly of watches imported to China. Their example was subsequently followed by other companies based in Fleurier: Vaucher Frères (1848); Edouard Juvet from Buttes, who transferred his workshop to Fleurier in 1844; and the Dimier brothers, who had come from Geneva. After China, other export outlets opened up for the manufacturers of Fleurier, who adapted their production to the demands of these new markets. • Literature: Exhibition catalogue The Mirror of Seduction – Prestigious Pairs of “Chinese” Watches, Patek Philippe Museum, pp. 130/31.
The Horological Foundation Desk Diary Project.
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