Bi-color gold Wrist Chronometer no. 5389
Case: Yellow gold with white gold bezel reverse with "ES" monogram and signed "E. Gubelin, Switzerland", case no. 10182.
Dial: Silvered, aperture for jump-hour, revolving minute disc, subsidiary seconds dial, unsigned.
Movement: 10''' tonneau, nickel, bi-metallic balance with blued steel balance spring with Breguet overcoil with polished steel kidney piece, signed "5389, E. Gubelin, Lucerne, Eighteen 18 Jewels, All Adjustments, Swiss", stamped with the Geneva seal.
19?? - Niton, Geneve
19?? - Gubelin, Lucerne
19?? - "ES"
2012 - Jones & Horan Auction, 5 Jun 2012, sold $8,000 "WW - Guebelin, Geneve, ("ue" = "u" with umlaut), Geneve, (by niton, Geneve), rare digital hour with constant minutes and seconds, tonneau form, 25mm wide at waist x 34mm to lug tips, 18K bicolor yellow gold original case with white gold bezel, Swiss touchmark, early leather strap with period 18K buckle possibly original to head only marked "NG" (niton Geneve?), original silvered dial, rotating sub-dial with arrow hand graphic, 18J unmarked cal 5711 with twin Geneva quality seals, fausses-cotes NI damascene, s#5389, signed "E Gubelin, Lucerne," case signed "E Gubelin, Switzerland" with internal number 10182. The identical tonneau form mvt is seen in at least two other examples in the market, both in elongated tank style cases 23mm x 38mm, one in white gold, the other in yellow gold, the white gold example sold by Antiquorum in 1998 at CHF9775, about $10,000 US. Both of those had actual arrow hands with blued tips rather than disk. Antiquorum cites the publication of the niton dial designs from 1928 in Kahlert, Muhe & Brunner, "Wristwatches, History of a Century's Development," published by Schiffer in 1986. A very rare and elegant digital dress watch, also refered to as "Jump Hour," ca 1930, in the first tonneau example we have seen.
CONDITION: Mvt: GRO, good balance motion, good poise, very tarnished plates indicating some silver content to the metal (which to properly clean one must first use a silver cleaner and quickly neutralize the muriatic acid with baking soda prior to normal cleaning), no oxide on bright work; mvt will clean in this fashion by an expert to near mint with a few MFS, best to preserve the plate surface then with rhodium plating; dial fine original, slight soiling in the visible area, verdigris hidden towards the corners from bezel contact; hand disk equally clean; original finely constructed case shows very light wear, some visible original back satin, numerous MFS, no dents or dings; crown shows light wear; good crystal; good period buckle with light wear; an exceptional original example"