Oignon French pocket watch from 1680

This incredibly well preserved timepiece is 340 years old, making it close to one of the first ever made pocket watches in France. Scroll down to read more about this so called ‘Oignon’.





The brass and white enamel dial bears a mesmerizing engraved image of floral patterns and two fire breathing dragon heads.
All white enamel hour indications seem to be in stunning condition and unrestored.
The original ‘Fleur de Lys’ hour hand is still present after all these years.

Another great thing about this example is the solid silver case. The great majority of these ‘Oignon’ pocket watches have gilt brass cases which obviously were down in such an amount of passed years. Quite rare to find a silver example in a condition like this.
The silver case is very large and thick, a common characteristic from an ‘Oignon’ pocket watch. A true hand full with this large and heavy timepiece.

The silver case is engraved with floral engravings surrounding a large goblet in the centre. The case has two dents which is inevitable for a 340 year old piece but nevertheless good to know. The dents can easily be ‘taken out’ by a professional jeweler but we prefer to keep the case untouched.
The hinge of the case is strong and the case closes tightly all around.

The brass movement has a significantly large balance bridge taking almost all space from the top platine. Again, lots of stunning engravings on this handcut part.

An interesting feature from this watch is the fact that the movement is to be wound with a key at the centre of the dial through the axis of the hour hand!

The movement has been serviced by out watchmaker and is running down the full fusee chain with a solid loud tick.
Please note that these movements are not as accurate as your modern mechanical timepieces, we strongly advise against to wear this watch as it is a piece of history.

All authentic parts of this watch are present; the dial, enamel hour indications, the hand, case and movement are all original from the 1680s.
The only ‘aftermarket’ addition to this watch is the glass which is a more modern acrylic piece.



Additional information


58mm / 66mm


164 Grams