This breathtaking antique white gold watch from a Miami estate is an excellent example of why the Belais Brothers' work is so esteemed. For spectacular design, refined craftsmanship and the excellence of their patented white gold, they surpassed all others in the late 19th and early 20th century. Notice the rich detail of the case. Not just the front but also the sides and back are intricately ornamented.
This watch would be gorgeous, even without its vivid sapphire accents. With their added opulence, it's dynamite. The stones may be natural or, more likely, the Verneuil synthetics which appeared often in fine jewelry of this era. The laboratory-produced stones aren't "fakes" like glass; they chemically reproduce real gems so well that even jewelers must test them. Here the brilliant stones are cut in fancy shapes and the hands on the watch are sapphire blue, too, as are the beautifully enameled numerals.
The case measures 16mm wide and 44mm from lug to lug and bears the initials of the original owner, CDC, on reverse. It contains a movement marked Perla Watch Co, which has 17 jewels and 2 adjustments, and was recently overhauled. Though the watch is in running condition now, we can't promise that a little tweaking won't be needed on arrival. Of course we'll pack with utmost care, but antique watches are temperamental about transport.
The jeweled filigree bracelet, a glorious color match, is marked "Bates & B" for Bates and Bacon. Based in Attleborough, MA, the company operated from 1856 through the 1930s and was known for producing excellent gold and gold-filled jewelry. Other marks present are the brand-name "Clasper" and "Pat'd. 2-7-22". We didn't find a stamp for metal content, but slight surface wear suggests it's gold-filled. It doesn't have the hard white sheen of rhodium plating, nor the tarnish you'd expect of silver. The four sapphire blue stones here show some wear under high magnification, so are probably Czech crystals, but their dainty size makes them persuasive pretenders. The bracelet, which will unhook at either end, can be easily shortened from its present length of 6 inches. I expect a good jeweler could also find a way to lengthen it, if needed.
Both watch and bracelet date from early in the Art Deco era, based on the Edwardian delicacy of the filigree and engraving. The bracelet, like the watch, is beautifully detailed on the back and edges, as well as the front. Though they didn't begin life together, they certainly should move forward that way. It's lucky they found each other, and we feel lucky to offer the result -- which is part of a lovely estate collection of fine jewelry that's been consigned to us.
For this exceptional item, there will be no charge for secure delivery to any country where we ship, and we're always happy to gift-wrap free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!