This is a very interesting watch with a very unusual dial. It is most probably Swiss-made and dates to the late 1800's or early 1900's. The name on the dial is "BONHEUR". The gunmetal case measures approximately 50mm in diameter and has gold accents on the crown and the bow, which nicely match the gold Louis XIV hands. The watch is stem wind and pendant set, and it has 7 jewels. the movement is marked "Breveté SGDG" [the Swiss patent office], "7 Rubis" [7 jewels], "22280 Brevet 16598" [the serial and patent numbers], "Ancre" [lever escapement], "Levees Visibles" [visible escapement pallets] and "Double Plateau" [perhaps indicating that it has both an upper and a lower plate?]

What makes this watch so interesting, of course, is the fact that it has a visible escapement which can be seen right through the dial. I have seen visible escapements before, but only on the so-called "Hebdomas" style watches. Those watches have a 3/4 dial, and are usually 8-day watches. in fact, it is the length of the mainspring in those watches which necessitate the odd placement of the escapement. This watch, however, has a regular length mainspring and a more conventional looking movement. In fact, the watch movement seems to have been built upside-down solely for the purpose of having the escapement visible from the front, and I can only assume that this was done for sheer aesthetic appeal.


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