A certain "je ne sais quoi"...

My eyes are still hurting from that outrageous fake crying.  The only cure is to gaze at the real deal!

The French influence on watch design was expressed most eloquently in the stylings of Verger Freres for Vacheron & Constantin.  V&C, however, was by no means the only Genevois watchmaker to take advantage of French sensibilities.  I've presented this Robert Cart pocket watch before, made on special order for the Paris jewelers F. Luthi circa 1930.  However, with the arrival of a VF timepiece to the cabinet, I thought you might enjoy a visual comparison of these two horological interpretations...

A certain "je ne sais quoi"...

A certain "je ne sais quoi"...

A certain "je ne sais quoi"...

A certain "je ne sais quoi"...

HAGWE!
JB
09/23/2012 - 05:13
KBS
09/23/2012 - 11:30
09/23/2012 - 19:56
KBS
09/24/2012 - 17:00
09/24/2012 - 18:38
KBS
09/25/2012 - 16:46
JB
09/24/2012 - 17:31
09/23/2012 - 19:12
09/24/2012 - 11:12
"Je sais bien quoi"
09/23/2012 - 05:13
Hi Dean, This "digital" design for a pocket watch was quite popular in the 1920's with  many manufacturer including VC, Breguet, Patek and AP. Sereal vaiation were made from simple time (hour digit and rotating minute dial) to calendars and I believe a pertual calendar. After the "bras en l'air" design, this is my favourite. I blieve the Maison Vacheron in Geneva had an display of some of these in their "Alternate Time Display" exhition during the SIHH 2 years ago (I think). Anyway, here' mine from the danish watchmaker, Jules Jergensen, circa 1925.
Sorry,
09/23/2012 - 05:18
I have a cold and my fatigue has gotten the best of my spelling. Where's a spell check when you need one? It should read "several variations",  "perpetual calendar", "believe" and "exhibition" are also mis-spelled and of course "Danish" should be capitalized. JB
Get well soon, Joseph nt
09/23/2012 - 19:46
nt
Fascinating story of Jules Jurgensen
09/24/2012 - 04:01
Joseph, I remember you shared this beautiful watch before!  The style of the hours and minutes numerals are identical to Robert Cart, and he had a patent on the mechanism.  IIRC you don't have the watch any longer?  If you could locate a movement photo it would answer my curiousity. This wonderful watch led me to do a quick google check on the brand name Jules Jurgensen and I was surprised to learn that, although the name started in 1773 in Denmark as a maker of marine chronometers, it relocated to Le Locle, Switzerland, in 1836 under the grandson of the founder.  The company remained in family hands until 1916 when sold to Golay first, then Heuer in 1925.  I'd guess your timepiece comes from just prior to the Heuer period. By 1936 the company had been sold to an American firm that used the name to market less expensive timepieces (a familiar story following the depression and the same fate as befell R. Cart) and Swiss production stopped altogether by 1957.  The name remained in hiberation until 1974 and today Jules Jurgensen watches are manufactured in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Of course we know Urban Jurgensen Sonner, which split from the family business in 1836 by remaining in Copenhagen and today is renowned as a top-tier manufacture.  In honor of their chronometric roots, in 2011 the company produced the first detent escapement designed for a wrist watch with the involvement of, among others, Kari Voutilainen. Again, thanks for sharing that beautiful timepiece heart
Re: Fascinating story of Jules Jurgensen
09/24/2012 - 05:35
Dean, You are correct. It cames from just before the company changed hands. Jurgensen's signature is on the certificate. It is certified as a chronometer watch. And interestingly the certificate states Bienne as the place of manufacture which perhaps by coincidence is now the headquarters of Urban Jurgensen Sonner. I don't know if it's the same building. I will try to get a photo this week or nexy weekend. As for UJS today...their watches are extraordinary with  remarkable movements. I have a Ref. 2 perpetual calendar which I enjoy very much. In fact I had a display back made for it so I could see the movement. Joseph
Thanks for your kind words, Joseph,
09/25/2012 - 16:45
about my pocket watch.  My father-in-law is also a keen watch collector. He actually met with Peter Baumberger several times. He owns a ref 2 just like you. He had the same idea about getting a display back case. However Peter told him that he thought it was a bad idea. My father in law listened and accepted but he would have made a different decision today. If you have taken some pictures of your movement in you ref 2 watch could you then post it here or if that is forbidden send it to me in an email? I know that my father- in-law would like these pictures very much. By the way Peter was a perfectionist (I guess you know) and the hands and the guilloche work is outstanding on his watches. Greetings here from the country where Urban Jürgensen was born. Kent
What a nice pair.
09/23/2012 - 11:30
They do look good together. You have really managed to bring the Cart movement alive in your picture. What a lot of details there are on the Cart case. The embellishment in the yellow gold on the side of the case is for me a direct link to the time pieces from around 1820-1840 (see the added picture). The way Cart is using yellow and white gold for creating a feast for the eyes is marvelous. The terrace effect in the white gold is like a step down towards the yellow embellished ring, WOW. That watch is a superb one. The VF is of course also great but so much more quiet in its expression except from the blue hands that make a great contrast and the lovely crown that is so subtle and delicately made. Yours sincerely Kent 
Well expressed
09/23/2012 - 19:56
Thanks for ferretting out the intentions with this post, despite my inadequate preamble!  From  across the room I would be able to identify the platinum PW as "Verger Freres", specifically because of its sleek Art Deco motif.  OTOH, the Luthi has other, even opposite, traits that also suggest a French flavour.  While I found it difficult to pin these characteristics down, I think you've come to my rescue... The contrast of movements is an all-Swiss discussion however.  Cart has the graceful arching bridges and plates similar to Audemars Piguet, Touchon and Meylan.  Although they were always in the forefront of movement technology, I feel V&C's straight finger bridges reflect their longer, more conservative traditions.
Kent, how about a dial view of your watch? :-)
09/24/2012 - 12:04
e
A dial view of a V&C pocket watch from 1830.
09/24/2012 - 14:15
Thanks for asking, Alex. Yours sincerely Kent.
stunning guillochage! is it VC?
09/24/2012 - 15:37
e
Yes I believe it is..
09/24/2012 - 17:00
Gorgeous!
09/24/2012 - 18:38
Wow, very clean watch heart
Thanks Dean.
09/25/2012 - 16:46
smiley
Amazing dial!
09/24/2012 - 17:31
Beautiful guillochage, hands, and case, Kent. That's a real treasure, an outstanding find. Thank you for sharing. Best, Joseph
Beautiful!
09/23/2012 - 19:12
I especially enjoyed the casing details in the second picture. Thanks for sharing, Jeff
a sight for sore eyes!
09/24/2012 - 11:12
e