Wednesday, June 1, 2016

L. Leroy & Cie – Important Historical Watches

Heir to an impressive historical legacy, the House of Leroy has written some of the finest chapters in the history of watchmaking and of French chronometry. Founded in Paris in 1785 amid the tumultuous Age of Enlightenment and under the impetus of Charles Leroy, himself the son of a watchmaker, the House has thus been developing a wealth of technical and inventive treasures for over two centuries.

Among the important timepieces created by the legendary horology dynasty, the Leroy 1 was the most complicated watch in the world until 1989 when the famous Geneva manufacturer, Patek Philippe introduced its “Calibre 89”. In this article, we highlight other important horology creations manufactured by the House of Leroy.

The “Grand Complication” Pocket Watch of Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon, L. Leroy & Cie, Paris, No. 25 468
Hunting-case (opening of the cover by pressure on the pendant), keyless winding and push-bolt setting (on the right side of the pendant), yellow gold, “demi-Bassine et filets”-shaped, pocket watch, featuring mean time (concentric hours and minutes, subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock) and the following 9 horological complications:
- Minute-repeater on three gongs (release by the push-piece located on the
case-band, on the right side of the pendant)
- Petite Sonnerie (position-lever of “Sonnerie (strike) / Silence”, on the left
side of the pendant)
- Twin-barrel differential-winding
- Perpetual calendar
- Date of the month (subsidiary dial at 3 o’clock)
- Day of the week (subsidiary dial at 9 o’clock; indications given in French)
- Month of the year (subsidiary dial at 12 o’clock; indications given in French)
- Four-year cycle of leap-years (subsidiary dial at 12 o’clock)
- Phases of the moon (aperture at 6 o’clock)

Timekeeper manufactured in 1936, Inv. L-09. Sold on December 17, 1936, to Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon (1883-1955), Paris, for the amount of 3 000 francs.

The “Triple Complication” Pocket Chronometer of Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon, L. Leroy & Cie, Paris, No. 18 486
Hunting-case (opening of the cover by pressure on the pendant), keyless-winding
and push-bolt setting (on the right side of the pendant), yellow gold, “demi-Bassine et filets”-shaped, pocket chronometer, featuring mean time (concentric hours and minutes, subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock) and the following 8 horological complications:
- Minute-repeater on two gongs (release by the slide located on the caseband, on the right side of the pendant)
-1/5 seconds chronograph (release by the rectangular push-piece located on the case-band, on the left side of the pendant)
- Perpetual calendar
- Date of the month (subsidiary dial at 3 o’clock)
- Day of the week (subsidiary dial at 9 o’clock; indications given in French)
- Month of the year (subsidiary dial at 12 o’clock; indications given in French)
- Four-year cycle of leap-years (subsidiary dial at 12 o’clock)
- Phases of the moon (aperture at 6 o’clock)

Timekeeper manufactured in 1927-1929, Inv. L-06, Sold on April 10, 1929, to Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon (1883-1955), Paris, for the amount of 14 000 francs.

The Pocket Chronometer, so-called “Torpilleur” (deck watch), with Perpetual Calendar of Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon, L. Leroy & Cie, Paris, No. 21 289
Hunting-case (opening of the cover by pressure on the pendant), keyless-winding and push-pin setting (on the right side of the pendant), yellow gold, “demi-Bassine et filets, genre Anglais” (English type)-shaped, pocket chronometer, featuring mean time (concentric hours and minutes, subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock) and the following 6 horological complications:
- Perpetual calendar
- Date of the month (subsidiary dial at 3 o’clock)
- Day of the week (subsidiary dial at 9 o’clock; indications given in French)
- Month of the year (subsidiary dial at 12 o’clock; indications given in French)
- Four-year cycle of leap-years (subsidiary dial at 12 o’clock)
- Phases of the moon (aperture at 6 o’clock)

Timekeeper manufactured in 1930-1932, Inv. L-22, Sold on April 11, 1932, to Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon (1883-1955), Paris, for the amount of 11 000 francs.

The Pocket Chronometer with Chronograph of Monsieur le comte Michel de PierredonL. Leroy & Cie, Paris, No. 17 671
Open-face, keyless-winding and push-pin setting (on the right side of the pendant), rose gold, “Empire”-shaped, pocket chronometer, featuring mean time (concentric hours and minutes, subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock) and the following 2 horological complications:

-1/5 seconds chronograph (release by the round push-piece located on the winding-crown)
- 30-minute recorder (subsidiary dial at 12 o’clock)

Timekeeper manufactured in 1926-1927, Inv. L-19. Sold on October 8, 1927, to Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon (1883-1955), Paris, for the amount of 3 000 francs.

The Pocket Chronometer with Minute-repeater of Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon, L. Leroy & Cie, Paris, No. 16 438
Open-face, keyless-winding and setting, rose gold, “Empire”-shaped, pocket chronometer, featuring mean time (concentric hours and minutes, subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock) and the following horological complication:
- Minute-repeater on two gongs (release by the slide located on the caseband, on the left side of the pendant)

Timekeeper manufactured in 1927-1928, Inv. L-17. Sold on September 8, 1928, to Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon (1883-1955), Paris, for the amount of 8 600 francs.

The Ultra-thin Pocket Chronometer of Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon, L. Leroy & Cie, Paris, No. 20 782
Open-face, keyless-winding and setting, rose gold, “Empire”-shaped, ultra-thin pocket chronometer, with small seconds (subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock)

Timekeeper manufactured in 1929-1930, Inv. L-15. Sold on November 18, 1930, to Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon (1883-1955), Paris, for the amount of 5 000 francs.

The Pocket Chronometer with “écran paramagnétique” (paramagnetic cover) of Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon, L. Leroy & Cie, Paris, No. 19 216
Open-face, keyless-winding and push-pin setting (on the left side of the pendant), rose and grey gold, “Empire”-shaped, pocket chronometer, with small seconds (subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock) and patented “écran paramagnétique” (paramagnetic cover), known as “La Rochefoucauld »-type; in fact, the movement protected inside a soft iron calotte (protective container) against magnetic fields

Timekeeper manufactured in 1927, Inv. L-14, Sold on May 7, 1928, to Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon (1883-1955), Paris, for the amount of 6 500 francs.

The Pocket Chronometer with a One-minute Tourbillon Regulator of Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon, L. Leroy & Cie, Paris, No. 25 029


Hunting-case (opening of the cover by pressure on the pendant), keyless-winding and push-bolt setting (on the right side of the pendant), yellow gold, “Bassine et filets”-shaped, pocket chronometer, with small seconds (subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock) and a one-minute tourbillon regulator

Timekeeper manufactured in 1935, Inv. L-08. Sold on June 4, 1935, to Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon (1883-1955), Paris, for the amount of 3 000 francs (delivered on September 23, 1935).

The Self-winding Wristwatch of Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon, L. Leroy & Cie , Paris, No. 18 201
Yellow gold, “Navette”-shaped, self-winding and crown-setting wristwatch, with small seconds (subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock)

Timekeeper manufactured in 1929, Inv. L-52, Sold on February 9, 1929, to Monsieur le comte Michel de Pierredon (1883-1955), Paris, for the amount of 6 500 francs.

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