Audemars Piguet produced approximately thirty-five minute repeating watches from 1906 until the early 1920's with the majority cased as wristwatches.Included in this very limited production was another example made for John Wallace Schaeffer, Vice President of the Allied Chemical Corporation, which is presently in the collection of the Audemars Piguet Museum in Switzerland. The present watch was originally purchased by Henry Haven Windsor, Jr., the son of the founder of Popular Mechanics magazine and an avid watch collector. After his father's death, when Windsor was 26 he became editor and publisher of the magazine, which had originally been founded in 1902. Under his leadership, the circulation of Popular Mechanics magazine increased to 2 million. In 1927 he was married to the Metropolitan Opera singer, Louise Hunter and together they had two sons, each of whom would go on to also work for the family magazine for a time. Popular Mechanics was sold by Windsor in 1958 to the Hearst Corporation, who still retain ownership of the publication to this day.This wonderfully rare and horologically important wristwatch bears the engraving on the reverse of H.H.WINDSOR 200 E. ONTARIO ST. CHICAGO. Few watches from this period have such a presence on the wrist as this example we see here. The combination of many highly desirable elements such as the platinum case, the minute repeating movement, the Cartier signature and Breguet numerals on the dial is impressive. Few complicated vintage wristwatches can better echo the style of the 1920s and 30s as this watch.
An extremely rare and important platinum cushion-shaped minute repeating wristwatch with Breguet numerals and bracelet, retailed by Cartier
Case and movement signed Audemars Piguet, dial signed Cartier
The case/bracelet: The case is wonderful, and in excellent all original condition, having never been polished. There are very minor surface scratches on the top of the case and bezel. The caseback with an elegant engraving has two visible scratches that appear in certain angles of light. The Cartier inventory number is engraved on the bottom right lug. The case is fitted with the original crown. The period correct platinum bracelet is in excellent condition with an elegant personalized engraving on the clasp, signed C+B. The dial: The dial is superb, showing no signs of restoration. The ‘Cartier’ logo is clearly legible. All applied hour markers are original and unrestored. The movement: The movement is in excellent condition, having developed an attractive patina on its bridges. The minute repeater mechanism is loud and clear, striking all hours, quarter hours and minutes properly.
A similar wristwatch produced by Audemars Piguet is illustrated in Audemars Piguet by Brunner Pfeiffer-Belli and Wehrli, pg 256