The Duke of Devonshire's watch

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The Duke of Devonshire's watch

The watch is a dumb quarter repeater with (possibly) a slightly later lever escapement. It is signed Gregson, Hger du Roy (Horologer to royalty)and was made at the begining of the french revolution in Paris. I bought it at the Chatsworth House Attic sale earlier this month. It seems very likely that the watch belonged to the 5th Duke of Devonshire though it may have belonged to his wife, Georgiana, made famous in the film 'The Dutchess'. Research revealed that 'Gregson' was an Englishman from London who moved to Paris in 1776 and was soon appointed Watchmaker to Louis XVI's court. His contemporaries in this position included Jean-Antoine Lépine and Abraham-Louis Breguet,two of the most famous parisian watch makers of the time. We may never know how the watch came to be in the posession of the Cavendish family, but their friendship with Marie Antoinette (Louis XVI's wife) cannot be coincidence.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 12:47 on 26 October 2011, Simon wrote:

    I inherited a very worn non-functional pocket watch that is marked with the word KOVER on the dial and has Kover LONDON 7629 engraved on the back of the mechanism.

    I have been able to discover little about the watchmaker Kover.

    I started a Blog to generate a list of other Kover watches that still exist and to discover documents that refer to the watchmaker Kover.

    Please post a comment at if you have any relevant information.

    Complain about this comment

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