Superb Jewelled 18 Carat Gold Pocket Watch By Jean Antoine L’epine.
Superb jewelled 18 carat gold pocket watch by Jean Antoine L’epine.
Jean-Antoine Lepine was born in 1720 and moved to Paris in 1744 as an apprentice watchmaker to Andre-Charles Caron, clockmaker to Louis XV. He married Caron's daughter in 1756 and began making watches under his own name shortly after. By 1762 he had been appointed Maitre Horloger (master horologist) and within 4 years was appointed Horloger du Roi (clockmaker to the King). He made watches for Louis XV, Louis XVI, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte. He created the L'epine calibre which is what characterises all mechanical watches, along with many other modifications and inventions including the"lost hinge" watchcases and later was credited for introducing hand setting on the rear of watches. This rare watch is jewelled on a skeleton back with jewel set hands set into an 18 carat gold jewelled case with bullseye glass to the front and rear to show off both the jewels and the movement. The fact there is a crown design within the skeletonised rear may mean that the watch was indeed one of the ones made for a Royal family.