This is a stunning French antique watch chain and pocket watch set that is completely original, signed, and in its original box. Truly an amazing discovery! It was made by the French Jewelry House of Lefébvre in the last part of the 19th century. The set is 18 kt gold with lovely black enamel stripes. Gorgeous watch chains that can be worn as necklaces are at the top of our Hunt List. It includes the watch chain which has its T-bar, working sliders, pocket watch pendant, key, and original box.
About the Chain: The chain was hand-made by a true craftsman. Each link is braided or woven together to form a pattern that resembles wheat. It is 18 kt gold with two barrel shaped sliders decorated with alternating bands (stripes) of black enamel and gold engraved with stars/snowflakes. The sliders move up and down allowing you to change the length of the drop.
On one end of the chain is the the matching T-bar with the same striped enamel band pattern. At the other end is the dog clip or watch clip. You can hang the pocket watch pendant or any pendant/groups of pendants you choose. The watch clip opens and closes allowing you to easily add and remove charms and pendants. You can add and remove the key to wear with the watch or separately as a key charm.
The total length of the necklace is 24 inches. When worn in the doubled format as shown in one of the pictures, the length is approximately 13 1/2 inches.
About the pocket watch: This glowing golden pendant turns this watch chain necklace into a statement necklace. At 1 1/4 inches it is comfortable to wear and looks more like a locket than pocket watch. I love Lefébvre's aesthetic. It's not minimalist and its not overly ornate. His use of geometric patterns gives it a more modern feel reminiscent of the Art Deco period forty years later. The pattern at the edge of the watch is the same star/snowflake pattern that is on the sliders and T-bar on the chain.
The initial evaluation from our watchmaker is that the watch is in good condition for its age. It is not currently running, but with a clean and lubrication it should run again. According to our watchmaker, movements from this time period will keep time, but are not the most accurate. The approximate cost of service is $195.
How to wear it: Wear it doubled, as a short chain as shown on our model. Slip it over your head and wear it as a long chain and use the sliders to vary the length of the drop (see images). You may want us to move the T-bar to the jump ring that currently holds the dog clip.
How do we know the set is original to each other?
- This beautiful box is original to this set and comes as part of your purchase. The box is lined in the prettiest shade of Napoleon Blue silk and velvet. The circle inset perfectly fits the pocket watch.
- The gold lettering on the inside that reads Lefébvre, Rue de Rivoli 108 Paris is also engraved inside the watch.
- The engraved pattern of the edge of the pocket watch matches the pattern engraved on the slider & T-bar of the chain. Not only is it unusual to find a watch and chain original to each other and in its original box, but Lefébvre pieces are rare in general.
Dimensions & Details & Fit
- The watch and chain are 18 Kt. gold. The chain is not marked but has been acid tested and is guaranteed.
- The chain weighs 19 grams. The watch weigh 24 grams.
- The chain is 24 inches long.
- The circumference of your head should be 19 1/2 inches to slip the chain over your head. If not, ask us about adding a clasp to the chain.
Period & Hallmarks
- Belle Époque. Circa 1880/1890, based upon the history of the French Jeweler Lefébvre (see below). Both the inside of the watch and the inside of the box are marked Lefébvre, rue de Rivoli 106. The watch fits the box perfectly.
- It is in good antique condition. There are signs of wear and use commensurate with age. There are some small surface scratches in general. The swivel/dog clip opens closes securely. The slides are working, however you should move them slowly and hold the chain flat.
- The watch is not currently running.
More on The Historic Jewelry House of Lefebvre
The French jewelry house Lefebvre (1820-1890) was founded by François Lefebvre. Lefebvre initially opened on the rue Saint-Antoine and later move to 106 rue de Rivoli, where he focused solely on watchmaking. François Lefebvre had two sons, Eugene and Edmond.
Eugene (1848-1907), the eldest (Lefebvre Fils Ainé) took over his father’s business in 1874. Eudene’s oldest son Charles took over the business in 1904. The business eventually grew and occupied both 106 & 108 rue de Rivoli as documented by later jewelry catalogs.
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