The need for dual time surfaced again in the late 19th century when, in the 1870s, the Scottish-Canadian engineer Sandford Fleming put forward his concept of a universal standard time with regulated time zones around the globe. Until then, each region applied its own time system (generally based on solar time) that created obvious confusion as the railway network expanded across Europe.
A good example is coming up for sale at Dr Crott in Mannheim on June 29. Alongside the time dials it is fitted with an independent springing seconds hand, a so-called seconde morte driven by a separate spring, and a small dial for the date and the day of the week. A further feature is the addition of a small compass, very rare in pocket watches.
The movement with lever escapement by M LeBlanc is housed in a silver case, finely engraved on the rear with a pair of lovers in a landscape.
The estimate is €5500-7000.
Another novel late-19th century pocket watch comes for sale at the Dorotheum watches sale in Vienna on June 26. The Kaiser system, patented in 1885, offered the idea of a ‘jump’ hour watch displaying only the digital hour and minutes more than 40 years before Cartier made similar models as part of the Tank range in the late 1920s.
This example, with a gold and guilloche enamel case and the inscription Patent System A. Kaiser, dates from c.1900. Estimate €2000-3000.