This is a stunning late 16th to early 17th Century French pre-balance spring verge watch, shaped like a crucifix, enclosed in a gilt and rock crystal case. The movement has a deep full plate fire-gilt cruciform design with pierced and engraved pillars. It features a fusee and chain, along with a worm and wheel barrel setup on the plate, with a small silver index. The cock is pierced and engraved, and there is a small steel balance without a spring. The going train has been upgraded with a later four-wheel system. The small teardrop-shaped silver dial has a cathedral engraved at the center with a winged heart below it. There are Roman numerals and a small single gilt hand. The engraved gilt crucifix-shaped mask has curved ends. The fine rock crystal case is mounted in engraved gilt frames.

What makes this watch unique is that it is a rare early rock crystal crucifix watch, in excellent condition. Surprisingly, even though the train has been improved, it has not been fitted with a balance spring. The watch is signed by J Gespard duVal and was made around 1630. It is 39 x 53 x 25mm in size, and a similar octagonal crystal watch can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Signed J Gespard duVal
Circa 1630
Dimensions 39 x 53 x 25 mm

Origin French
Period 17th Century
Materials Crystal