Lot 53

in an aluminium circular case with painted dial, of good precision, with four hands: seconds hand, minute hand, hour hand, and secondary hour hand (red) for different time zone, the red hand is easily set so as to show any other time zone selected by the user, or it can simply be hidden behind the main hour hand if not in use, the two blue zones (0 to 3 and 30 to 33 minutes) are the times dedicated to encoded transmissions every hour, the two red zones (15 to 18 and 45 to 48 minutes) are the times dedicated to radio silence for listening to distress signals, easy adjustment of retard and advance through the dial near the number 3. MN 753 is the inventory number of the Marine Nationale (French Navy), signed ‘AURICOSTE, Horloger de la Marine de l’Etat’  (Clockmaker to the State Navy), the door seals with a screw key to the right, the same key being used to wind the clock every 8 days,
21cm diameter overall

The movement is in full working order and has recently been cleaned and overhauled. All parts original.

Auricoste is the firm known to supply all precision clocks and watches to the French Navy for the past 80 years, and to this day. The firm was originally founded as a specialist in marine chronometers in 1854, before being taken over by Joseph Auricoste in 1889. Auricoste exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris and the firm continued under Joseph’s son Pierre Auricoste into the 20th century. After the second World War Pierre Auricoste began collaborating with the important watch manufacturer Patek Philippe, and together they installed their first electro-mechanical time-keeping network on the French Navy’s Warships. The 1950s saw the beginning of an extremely successful period of collaboration between Auricoste and the French Army. The French War Ministry ordered that the chronographs being used at that time by its military units had to include a flyback function (“retour en vol” in French and “taylor” in Italian). Auricoste, already well-known for its reliability and its expertise in this field, received orders for more than 2000 chronographs from the different divisions of the French Air Force and Navy and the French flight test centre. Important organisations such as the Elysée Palace and the French Senate, as well as the French Merchant Navy and numerous liners, also used the exceptional timekeeping pieces by Auricoste.
The Foch and Clemenceau Aircraft Carriers, the Avisos, the Frigate 2000, and the Nuclear Attack Submarines all appear on the illustrious list of warships which were equipped with the Auricoste time-keeping network. Crossing the world on French Warships, the reputation of the watch-making company was no longer limited to the French mainland. Numerous orders were received from foreign military services.

Estimate: £600-£800