The Breguet Museum of Place Vendome in Paris has acquired a quarter-repeating pocket watch built in 1807. The watch, a timepiece designed for an Ottoman Empire dignitary, is red-and-gold enameled double cased watch featuring a white dial that is engraved with Arabic numerals.
The museum curator confirmed that the piece was purchased for 650,000 Swiss francs, comparable to $700,000 USD. The price tag of the Breguet watch is due to the high popularity and demand of antique watches of this type.
The watch is in pristine condition and was commissioned by Esseyd Ali Effendi are factors that increased the value of the watch. Effendi was well-known for being a frequent client for Breguet, including an order of ten watches after he finished his tenure as an ambassador. The watch in question is from this set.
Effendi was extremely influential in increasing the popularity of pocket watches in the Islamic market. These watches were particularly relevant as Islamic culture required that Ottomans pray at least five times a day. The 18th century saw that European watches increased in popularity as manufacturers included stars and crescent patterns, both of which were popular in the Ottoman Empire.
Most pocket watches are bought and sold in Geneva. The market has seen a notable increase in the past four years, proving that the Turkish buyers for these watches are starting to compete with other collectors in the Middle East.