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4.1611 Rare ‘Seconde Morte’ Jumping Second Pocket Watch, 18K Gold, 51 mm, Switzerland 1870’s

Vintage 18K gold ‘Seconde Morte’ jumping second pocket watch dating to the 1870’s, with beautiful antique monogram on front cover. Specially handcrafted movement, original enamel dial, and gold hands. High level of handmade detail, all hinges and lids close tightly, everything is very well preserved, original and without any restorations. At 150 years of age, this timepiece shows excellent accuracy and will serve as an exceptional pocket chronometer. Comes with 12-month warranty.

A sophisticated pocket watch with a two wheel system and jumping second. The function is called “Seconde Morte” – a “dead” jumping second that does not run as usual, but jumps like in a quartz watch. Its modern counterpart is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Duograph, and this watch uses exactly the same scheme. In fact, this device contains two mechanisms that run simultaneously, united by a common oscillatory system.

Key Features

The watch is wound in two directions — one barrel powers the movement, while the second barrel transmits the force to the central second wheel train. The second is turned on and off by pressing the button on the crown. This system can also be defined as an early chronograph without a zero-reset mechanism (this function was not widely used at that time).

The high level of handmade detail is visible in the photos: polishing, chamfering, everything shines and shimmers. There is no signature on the dial, which is quite common for high-end gold watches, as they were mainly sold through jewellery trading houses in very small series’, almost piece by piece. The movement is very well preserved, at 150 years of age, shows excellent accuracy and serves as an exceptional pocket chronometer.

Watch this video of the jumping second. Combined with the integrity of the object and the quality of the movement, such a watch would never leave a connoisseur of precision mechanics indifferent to its grandeur.

Servicing and Guarantee

This timepiece has been serviced with full disassembly. The whole of the watch, including the movement, is perfectly preserved, the machine works briskly and with good accuracy for its age. The case and dial are original, and also rarely and excellently preserved. There is a 12-month guarantee, subject to the usage and care guidelines.

Overview

Body: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  (8/10 good)

Watch face:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  (10/10 like new)

Mechanism: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  (8/10 good)

Accuracy: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (8/10 good)

Case and Strap

  • Thick-walled, circular case with wide, rounded edges.
  • 18-karat gold (750 proof).
  • Antique, mineral crystal with facet.
  • ‘Onion’ shaped crown situated in ring base.
  • “K18” stamp and brand of case manufacturer “JL” on inside case cover.
  • Outer cover decorated with antique monogram.

Dimensions:

  • Case diameter 51.1 mm.
  • Ring height 72 mm.

Dial and Hands

  • Original white enamel dial.
  • Thin black Roman numerals.
  • Small seconds display.
  • Gold ‘spade’-style hour and minute hands.
  • Steel central seconds hand with shank in burnished dark blue.
  • Perfectly preserved enamel, no restorations.

Movement

  • Swiss-made movement.
  • Special handcrafted caliber.
  • 29 ruby jewels.
  • Two barrels.
  • Double-sided Louis Audemars ‘tandem’ system.
  • Second wheels system drives central second hand, transmission connected by button on crown.
  • High-quality bimetallic balance.
  • Blued Breguet balance spiral.
  • High-quality pallet-fork with quality finishing and mirrored chamfers.
  • Nickel-silver plates and bridges with partial skeletonization for viewing and adjusting the gears.

Servicing and Guarantee

Links and Resources:

James Nardin ‘Seconde Morte’ Watch with Similar Movement Type. 

Video of the Jumping Second Mechanism.

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Case material

Gold

Dial tone

Beige/White/Silver

Origin

Swiss

Size grade

50 mm and more

Year approx

1870