10/01/2024 General News, Watches
Antoine Rédier was born in 1817, in Perpignan in the south of France. His choice of career was influenced by his father who was also a watchmaker; he worked in his father’s shop during his youth and at the beginning of his career. He won a scholarship to the school of horology where he studied for four years. In 1838, he graduated as a qualified watchmaker and created a career based around timepieces. At the start of his career, he was an apprentice under Swiss watchmaker, Abraham-Louis Perrelet, who had run his alma-mater. Perrelet’s work as a watchmaker was focused mainly on the luxury sector of the industry and this more than likely had a significant impact on Rédier’s artistic and luxurious style of watchmaking and design.
Rédier’s career as a watchmaker was briefly paused as he was conscripted into the army in 1839, though the money he made from one of his inventions allowed him to buy his way out of fighting. After his very brief hiatus, Rédier returned to watchmaking and inventing, and had the opportunity to purchase the Duchemin’s watchmaking workshop in Place du Châtelet.
Rédier’s art was watchmaking and like any artist at the peak of their career, he exhibited his creations and inventions both in France and internationally; he continued this for over thirty years. One of the most significant inventions by Rédier is the adjustable and portable bedside alarm clock which he patented in 1847. This encouraged the watchmaking industry in France to become bigger and better than ever.
In this month’s auction, we have an intricate and rare example of Antoine Rédier’s work as a watchmaker and inventor in Lot 462. The globe clock has twenty-four different sections, emphasising different time zones and the middle band divides the two hemispheres. A small number of these clocks were created by Rédier in the late 19th century and so this makes this clock a rare piece and an important item for collectors and those interested in horology.
By Isobel Morgan BA, MA