Rare “Chinese Duplex” with 8-day Power Reserve

Preliminary Mini-Review

I don’t think that I have ever seen anything more beautiful than this pocket watch. Keep reading to see the full details.

A typical watch face for the Chinese market, with austerely designed Roman numerals and ‘club’-shaped hands.

A fairly simple case made of thick silver. The back cover can be opened using a knob.

The inner lid with natural glass and key holes. There is an astounding view of the mechanism…

All the covers can be opened with knobs to reveal the detailed view of the mechanism.

Inside there is a “PM” (the supplier was possibly Piguet & Meylan), and hieroglyphs. The same hieroglyphs are also stamped on the mechanism.

A richly decorated movement with two barrels and an 8-day power reserve.

Chinese duplex watches with a 30-hour coil are not uncommon but are much simpler than this. An 8-day power reserve is almost completely unique.

The wheels of the angrenage are hidden under the drums. Only the drums, the bridge, and the balance are visible, ticking as if by itself, unconnected to any wheels.

The balance has oddly shaped weights. Aesthetics and geometry are balanced perfectly, and beautifully engraved.

Craftsmen from Fleurier used several techniques for decorating: casting into a mould, stichel, and kerning. The opinion that a pattern such as this can be obtained by metal etching is erroneous.

No engraving was done underneath the bridges in order to save time and labour. The balance bridge platform is made to be moveable to adjust the engagement depth.

Everything functions well under the dial, two drum ratchets and a wheel train for the hands.

The wheel of the Chinese ‘crab’ duplex is a very interesting and unusual shape.

Ruby roller on the balance axis. The diameter is less than 1 mm, comparable to the thickness of a match!

The amount of human labour invested in just this one watch is impossible to imagine! It is very impressive.

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