MADE CIRCA: 1750
MATERIAL: Yellow Gold & Enamel
MOVEMENT: Verge Movement
CASE DIAMETER: 44mm
Julien Le Roy (1686-1759) is widely regarded as one of the finest watch and clockmakers of the 18th Century due to his immense contribution to technological advances in horology.
Le Roy established himself in Paris where at the age of 27 he had become Master Horologist, producing a great many watches and clocks to delight his demanding clientele. So successful was the business that he is said to have made or supervised over 3,500 watches, amounting to an average of one hundred movements a year, or one every three days. In contrast, other workshops only produced between thirty and fifty pieces per year.
His advances in horology included steel end-piece pivots to aid in the retention of oil, dumb repeating watches, an improved system of housing repeater work called ‘á bate levee’ and considerably improved the timing adjustment capabilities of the escape wheel. These inventions were so successful that they were immediately adopted by fellow watch and clockmakers world-wide.
Then, in 1717 he presented to the Royal Academy of Sciences an equation clock showing true time and position of the sun.
Le Roy's extensive clientele included many members of Europe's noble and royal families including King Louis XV to whom he became Horloger Ordinaire du Roi (Clockmaker to the King). Le Roy had his private quarters situated in the Louvre Galleries, where he could devote his time to delighting the king with his many inventions including repeating watches that allowed the King himself to remove the dial and marvel at the movement held within.
Extraordinary examples of his work can be found in many major museums around the world, including the Louvre, Paris, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
- English explorer Captain James Cook and his crew aboard HMS Endeavour complete the circumnavigation of New Zealand.
- Fourteen-year-old Marie Antoinette arrives at the French court where she goes on to marry Louis-Auguste.
- German composer Ludwig van Beethoven is born.