Posted 8 years ago
This is a rare miniature "Chinese Market" pocket watch, by Dimier et Cie, Geneva, Circa 1825. It's unusual for its small size and verge fusee (chain driven) movement.
European pocket watches became popular with the Chinese Emperor Chien Lung and his courtiers and officials in the mid C18th and remained in fashion through the C19th.
These pocket watches were worn purely as jewelry and status symbols, and were not used for timekeeping by the Chinese, who didn't follow the Western system of fixed length hours and minutes.
The Chinese taste was for an enameled case, with an ornately engraved complex mechanism, covered by a glass cover (cuvette). This enabled the owner to show their admiring friends the details of the workings in operation.
The ideal configuration was for large watches (all the better to show off), and they were sometimes purchased in identical pairs, to have a spare in case one broke down (it would take over a year to send the broken one back to Europe for repair and receive it back).
Miniature Chinese Market watches like this one are rather rare. It is only 32mm in diameter, just a little larger than a bottle cap, and the pics in the last image should be about actual size.
You can see more info on the watch on this link, including details on how it came into our family around 150 years ago. http://theholygrail.com/ChineseMarketWatchbyDimier.pdf