The Swiss cloisonné is fascinating, captivating and absolutely stunning. It consists of an assemblage of peacocks & feathers, urns, eagles, griffins, horns, branches and leaves, swirls and curls created of incredibly fine lines of gold filled with colorful semi-precious stone.
This superb micro-mosaic is an entire world of the finest artistic design and workmanship. All in less than 1 3/4" diameter. A miracle of miniature art!
And after more than 150 years this key-wound watch still runs perfectly.
It had been cleaned and checked out in December, 2006 by a European Antique Watch specialist.
The face is no less marvelous than the showpiece side; gold hands tell the time and a design formed by tiny fantasy swirls that are visible only with a loupe cause the entire silver face to shimmer.
Open the cloisonné back cover and find all the engravings on the 18k gold (not stamped as such but stated to be 18k by a Butterfield's auction house appraiser.)
The statement "Echappement A Cylindre" denotes the specific type of watch cylinder (escapement.)
"Quatre Trus En Rubis" denotes the ruby jewels in the movement.
"Aiguilles Moilliet" in beautiful script are actually two separate terms.
"Aiguilles" denotes the driving hole to set the hours.
"Moilliet" is the name of a family of "master" watchmakers who are noted in documents from the Musée de l'horlogerie et de l'émaillerie in Geneva, Switzerland. The family is documented to have made enameled watches.
The history of the family dates the watch to the years between 1830 and 1850 according to the examiner at the Musée de l'horlogerie.
"A Geneve" tells of the maker's location in Switzerland. That is followed by the identification number 26097, which is also stamped into the gold of the inside cloisonné cover as well as the inside movement cover.