Case: 18K three-piece Empire style with polished white gold reeded bezels, inset textured yellow gold case back, recessed yellow gold band with Clous de Paris guillochage. Diameter 43 mm.
Movement: 17’’’, rhodium plated, fausses cotes decoration, 18 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, cut bimetallic balance, Breguet balance spring, unsigned. Circa 1930.
Dial: Satine silver with apertures for jump hours and continuous minutes. Signed “F.Luthi Paris”.
This example is a true digital watch, with hours and minutes displayed by rotating numerical disks visible through apertures in an otherwise solid dial. The style featured here was used by Vacheron & Constantin and Breguet, as well as haute joaillerie retailers and under Cart's own name.
What I find most interesting is a comparison of the Sandoz and Luthi watches. Although different in style and construction, they have sequential case numbers! The explanation is to understand the essence of Robert Cart as an artisan watchmaker.
More than a cabinotier, who specialized in production of components, or an établisseur, who assembled those components into a finished piece; Cart was a hybrid of manufacture d'horlogerie and atelier de terminage. With his fashionable heures sautantes mechanisms protected by patents, he engaged in manufacturing the jump hour comoponents while also finishing the base ébauche and assembling sourced cases and ancillary components. Reassuringly, each timepiece received the master's full attention as it was transformed at his bench into a finished watch.
This watch reflects the tastes of French connoisseurs particularly well, with its slim bicolor case and variety of finishes including satine dial, guilloche center band, stepped bezels, and vertically textured back.
F. Luthi, Horloger à Paris, were known for manufacturing spectacular precision mantle clocks during the 1920s, while Antiquorum has record of highly complicated minute-repeating chronograph foudroyante with independent seconds circa 1900. The Luthi Joaillerie still resides on the place Vendôme.
Tick Talk ©2012