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For sale we have an outstanding, rare and early example of a piece of horological art. This is a circa 1915 Hy Moser & Cie 18ct gold tonneau watch. It pre-dates Art Deco design, but begins to show the adventurous nature of modern design that spilled into this period.


It was a Swiss manufactured watch, intended directly for the Russian Imperial market, having the 72 Zolotniks purity mark, as well as the head of Helvetia.

Many Moser Tonneau watches are later and tend to have cases of poorer quality, molested, or altered as Russian Artel cases.


The case design and overall approach bare significant similarities to the Vacheron Constantin reference 10144, which has pride of place in the Vacheron museum and collection. It is a reference which has featured in the “Classic with a Twist” collection, around the globe.


The LeCoultre calibre 10 HPVM movement is of the highest quality within the period. It has also been used in some impressive pieces within this same period.

It featured in a one-off example of the first calendar watch, by Audemars Piguet, which was produced in 1921. The watch sold for 204,000 CHF in 2014.

The movement also features in a Cartier Tonneau wristwatch dating to 1908. The watch was sold to Countess Von Hohenfelsen, the morganatic wife of Grand Duke Paul of Russia, who was one of Cartier’s most important clients.


The case measures 24mm x 35mm which is very well proportioned for the era. It has a lug-to-lug measurement of 40.25mm, which allows it to hug the wrist, with its subtly curved design. This, combined with its 6.5mm depth, makes it a very comfortable wear. The coffin shape of the case necessitates the slim strap at 8mm. This may be unusual by modern standards, but once on the wrist, the strap width doesn’t enter your mind. The case itself is too mesmerising. The strap is held in place, with gold screws, which also act to secure the two pieces of the case together. To the right-hand side is the original, gold onion style crown with the original crown tube.

The silver satin base tone of the dial is good and bright. It has been gently cleaned to peel back the years and allow the silver to shine through. It is eye-catching with its level of interactivity with the light causing it to shimmer. The dial follows the flow of the case. The railroad track minute markers are a tonneau shape, with the stylised Arabic numerals stringing along following the line. The Hy Moser signing to the centre is a dark blue tone in the correct stylised font of the era. The dial has a complex curvature, curved top to bottom and side to side. The spade and whip hour and minute hand are thermally blued and are original to the watch.


Once opened, the inside of the case has beautiful perlage finishing. A completely un-necessary aspect, only ever seen by those who work on the watch. Included purely for the artistry, this beautiful finishing is a real treat. The Hy Moser & Cie name is signed, with the Hy Moser logo stamped. It has Swiss hallmarking with the head of Helvetia, and Russian 72 Zolotnik marking. The serial number is well formed and clearly stamped.

The movement and dial are held in place via a gold surround, with elongated ends, which screw into place against the case. The rear of one tab has the matching serial number to the inside of the case back.


The movement is securely held in place and suspended within this inner design to protect it from damage. The LeCoultre calibre 10 HPVM is a manually wound movement, with a high jewel count for the era, of 18. Everything about it indicates Haute Horologerie. Its Cote De Geneve finishing is excellent, with polished and bevelled edges to the bridges. The finger bridge design is aesthetically pleasing, whilst other high-quality features exist, such as the underslung ratchet wheel. It also has an end cap for the escape wheel.

Despite its 110 years of age, the movement has a daily gain of 15 seconds a day. A truly remarkable testament to the quality of the calibre.


It is impossible to run out of superlatives to describe this watch. I feel very lucky to be able to offer such a work of art. To think who may have owned this watch, a watch reserved for the rich and respected. Every aspect of this watches design and DNA are of the highest quality. It is completely comparable to Cartier, Vacheron, Audemars and Patek.


Full condition report below. Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.



The dial is original and is in very good original condition. It has a silver satin base tone, which shines in the light. The original signing is good and clear with no clear signs of wear. The Moser signing to the centre is in a dark blue tone.



The hands are original and are in good condition for the age. They are of spade and whip style, with a thermally blued finish. There is some corrosion to the thermally blued tone. They are free of bending.



The acrylic crystal is a hand crafted replacement and is in perfect condition.



The crown and tube are original and is in good condition. It is of onion style. It is formed of gold.



The case is formed of 18ct gold. It is a two-piece case. The pieces are held together with gold, screw through bars. The back is solid. The front pieces of the case holds the glass, movement and dial. These are held in place with a screw, in an extended plate, to the top and bottom of the gold movement surround.



The 18ct gold solid back is in very good original condition. It remains unpolished, with light surface scratching associated with age.



The watch is on a new leather strap.



The movement is a LeCoultre calibre 10 HPVM. It is a manually wound movement, with a jewel count of 18. It has a bi-metallic balance. It has finger bridge design, with an underslung ratchet wheel. It has Cote De Geneve finishing. It also has an end cap for the escapement. A very high quality movement of the period.


The movement has been recently serviced. It’s keeping time to within +15 seconds deviation a day, with an amplitude of 325 degrees and a beat error of 2.8m/s.


Case dimensions:

Case width: 24mm

Case width with crown: 26mm

Case length: 35mm

Case length lug to lug: 40.25mm

Case Depth: 6.5mm

Lug width: 8mm

RARE 1915 Hy Moser & Cie 18ct gold Tonneau watch LeCoultre 10 HPVM

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