Leon Hatot is a famous jewellery and watchmaking brand who created some of the most beautiful and elegant timepieces in existence. Hatot studied watchmaking aged 12 in Besancon, completing his education at the School of Fine Arts. He then established his own watch and jewellery workshop. In 1911, the ambitious 22 year old Hatot, came to Paris to establish his own business, purchasing Maison Bredillard, a manufacturer and supplier of watch products, jewellery and accessories. During WW1 he began to focus on Art Nouveau design principles. This period produced some of his best designs, creating watches for the independent and chique woman in a rapidly changing society.
His talent attracted attention as he was later asked to work for Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron. He developed his skills, becoming one of the most competent craftsmen in the industry. He continued to work on his own projects, exploring the use of electric cells and the application within watchmaking. He created electronic clocks under the ATO name, as well as an early automatic wristwatch under the name “Rolls”.
New owned by the Swatch Group, the extent of Hatots artistic and technical genius can still be fully appreciated. Swatch group have a record of over 5000 original sketches made by the hand of the French master. These drawings demonstrate the virtuosity and subtleness of the design talent he possessed, with their erudite geometric constructions, interplay of new materials, floral patterns and matching colours. The quality and artistic nature of his watches, combined with the high-end watchmaking skill, makes examples extremely sought after and valuable.
This is a rare and high-quality piece of Art Nouveau watch design by the famous Leon Hatot. The 18ct white gold case is neatly proportioned, measuring 19.5mm x 19.5mm, with a lug-to-lug measurement of 23mm. The front of the case is very complex with a range of textures and finishes, combined with the setting of rose cut diamonds. There is further engraving in a foliate style to the sides, with the original crown remaining an excellent piece of design. The dial is silver in tone, with a sunburst Guilloche engraved finish. The case is signed Leon Hatot with French hallmarking for 18ct pre 1919. Inside is an incredibly high-grade movement with a jewel count of 18. The movement bares great similarities to early Le-Coultre movements (Also Patek, Audemars and Vacheron) and is likely an ebauche. It has been recently serviced and is in excellent original condition.
The case has a polished finish to the front, in a circle surrounding the dial and a square around the outer section of the bezel. This has light surface scratching consistent with age, but no deep scratches or dents. Sandwiched between the two polished sections is a square surround with four corners, consisting of a beaded engraving of floral form, with three rose cut diamonds. There is a beaded outer finish, flanked with small rose cut diamonds surrounding the bezel. The sides of the case have a further beaded finish, with a lined band with delicate foliate engraving to the centre. The case back is 18ct white gold and is in good original condition. The polished finish has light surface scratching consistent with natural aging.
The inside of the case back is signed LH within a diamond shape, with diamond symbol to the centre. This is the case mark of Leon Hatot. It also has the French horses head hallmark for 18ct gold, used until 1919. The case has the serial number 20230. The dial has a silver base tone which signs in the light. The quality of the dial is clear with a sunburst guilloche engraved finish, of beautiful complexity. The texture of the guilloche finish, combined with the radiating sunburst in the light, makes this dial feel very much alive.
This is an incredibly high-grade movement, of the very highest quality. It has a jewel count of 18. The movement is jewelled to the centre, whilst there are cap jewels seen in the polished steel setting on the escapement wheel. At this point in time, only the finest movements would have had this level of jewelling. The movement has three screws on the crown and ratchet wheel, which is found on very high-grade calibres (Patek, Audemars and Vacheron). The movement bares great similarities to early Le-Coultre movements.
The bridges are finished with Geneva stripes, as well as perlage finishing underneath the click spring. There are mirror polished finishes to the click, Anchor and its cock, escape wheel and its cock. All bridges have a polished bevelled finish. To reduce the thickness of the movement, the barrel is held by the ratchet wheel sandwiching the barrel bridge.
Another indicator of this watches quality is the high beat rate. The movement has an unusual higher beat rate which means that the watch cannot be timed on most modern timegraphers. The movement has been recently serviced.
Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.
The dial has a silver base tone which signs in the light. The quality of the dial is clear with a sunburst guilloche engraved finish, of beautiful complexity. The texture of the guilloche finish, combined with the radiating sunburst in the light, makes this dial feel very much alive. To the centre, there is a floral engraving. The hour markets are simple with black Arabic numerals.
The minute hand is original, whilst the hour hand appears to be a well-matched replacement. They both have a thermally blued finish and they are in good condition for the age, with some light corrosion.
The acrylic crystal is a replacement and is in perfect condition.
The crown is original and is in excellent condition with a floral design, intricately engraved, with a polished face.
The case is formed of 18ct white gold and is in very good original condition.
The case back is 18ct white gold and is in good original condition. The polished finish has light surface scratching consistent with natural aging.
The period correct silk band is non original and has a silver-plated buckle. There is some wear to the buckle plating. There is a white mark to the band. It will fit an 8 inch wrist diameter, but may struggle to go over larger hands.
The movement is in good condition both cosmetically and in terms of function. The movement has been recently serviced. It is keeping time to +30 seconds a day, with an amplitude of 250 degrees and a beat error of 0.6m/s.
Case width: 19.5mm
Case width with crown: 21mm
Case length: 19.5mm
Case length lug to lug: 23mm
Lug width: 9mm
Case Depth: 5.5mm
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