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Help with Robert Cart Wrist Watch: Ethan? David? "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Member 1955
Picture of Michael P. McNamee
posted
Hi all,

I just acquired a really cool looking art deco style wrist watch by Robert Cart. See pictures below.

My usual research resources yield virtually nothing about the regular wrist watches by this mid-20th century Swiss maker. I do understand that in the 1920s he received a Swiss patent for a very thin and unique wandering jump-hours complication known as "Heures Sautantes" or Jumping Hours, where the hour indicator moved around the dial to also indicate minutes. I understand that over his career he designed three variations on this movement, and that they are well considered by horologists.

I also understand that Cart produced very high quality but more standard-type movements that he sold to high-end Swiss watch companies, and that he also branded some complete watches in his own name. Mine appears to be one of the latter. But I can find no real information about anything other than his Heures Sautantes creations.

My watch has a 17 jewel unadjusted Swiss movement signed Robert Cart, with the case also signed Robert Cart Stainless Steel. The dial is a really attractive peach color with black outline and is signed Robert Cart. The band is an early Speidel stretch style, marked 1/30 10K Gold Filled Top Caps and 1/40 10K Gold Filled End Caps. Perhaps a replacement band?

Any thoughts or discussion about this maker or this particular watch would be gratefully appreciated!

Ethan, you must know something about this one! Smile

David?

Mike

Dial:

 
Posts: 1088 | Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota in the USA | Registered: October 15, 2013
IHC Member 1955
Picture of Michael P. McNamee
posted
Movement:

 
Posts: 1088 | Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota in the USA | Registered: October 15, 2013
IHC Member 1955
Picture of Michael P. McNamee
posted
Case Back:

 
Posts: 1088 | Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota in the USA | Registered: October 15, 2013
IHC Member 561
posted
Robert Cart does not ring a bell with me, but the movement looks like it was Swiss made by Peseux, a caliber 210.
 
Posts: 784 | Location: Tijeras, New Mexico USA | Registered: July 12, 2005
IHC Life Member
Picture of Ethan Lipsig
posted
I am sorry that I can't help. I know nothing more than you already know.
 
Posts: 1414 | Location: Pasadena, California USA | Registered: November 11, 2005
IHC Member 1955
Picture of Michael P. McNamee
posted
Thanks guys.
 
Posts: 1088 | Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota in the USA | Registered: October 15, 2013
IHC Member 1291
Picture of Buster Beck
posted
You have the right guy[s] Michael, as there was father and son and here is a little more if anyone be interested;

Robert Cart's eponymous watch manufacture was founded at Le Locle in 1920. Born in 1871, he was 49 years of age when he undertook this risky venture. Cart apparently put his time to good use because within a few years he received a Swiss patent for a very thin and unique wandering jump-hours complication of a type known as Heures Sautantes or Jumping Hours, where the hour indicator moved around the dial to also indicate minutes.
He soon followed with a second version. With his Type II Heures Sautantes, the jump-hours indicator remained at 12 o'clock while the minute pointer mysteriously moved around the dial, visible only through a narrow slot.
Cart's impeccable Art Deco styling and popular Heures Sautantes complications attracted orders from powerhouse Swiss manufactures, most notably Breguet and Vacheron & Constantin. Breguet favored the Type I wandering hours, which they offered from 1927 to 1945 in both pocket and wrist watch versions.
V&C commissioned examples of the Type II and III pocket and wrist watches which attained iconic status with the brand. The earliest are recorded in Vacheron Constantin archives from 1929 and were available at least until 1932.
Other customers for the Heures Sautantes were the haute joaillerie retailers which specialized in providing custom pieces for the very wealthy. Gubelin, Robert Pleissner, and Gustave Sandoz were among the ateliers who offered Cart's marvels under private label. Interestingly, auction records reveal that Verger Freres of Paris supplied cases for Cart's Heures Sautantes to Breguet, V&C and Charlton.
Bernard Humbert, in his 1954 book Modern Calendar Watches, praised a Cart perpetual calendar pocket watch, noting; "The watch is of extremely high quality, the calendar mechanism being hand-made". Humbert bemoaned the disappearance of these "specialized artists" with the proliferation of mechanical watch manufacturing.
Chronos featured an outstanding 1937 R. Cart full-calendar wristwatch in their Klassic Uhren Revue publication.
Robert Cart continued to make alternative display complications and more conventional watches of highest quality until his death in 1964. Robert Jr. soldiered on, producing a few interesting wrist watch complications alongside generic Swiss timepieces, until he died in 1978. Within a year the company name was acquired by the Swiss conglomerate DIXI Machines SA who, having recently sold Zenith sought to re-invest in horology with Cart, Zodiac and Moser. Unfortunately, the name Robert Cart was assigned to rather poor quality wristwatches until disappearing forever. Once free of patent restrictions, other high horology makers evolved their own wrist watch versions following Cart's concepts. In the 1990's, Gubelin produced two extraordinary Heures Sautantes wrist watches in platinum using NOS Breguet movements of Cart's Type I design. Vacheron Constantin introduced their so-called Chronoscope wrist watch in 1994, who's styling was a clear hommage to Cart's design.
More than a cabinotier, who specialized in production of components, or an etablisseur, who assembled those components into a finished piece; Cart was a hybrid of manufacture d'horlogerie and atelier de terminage. With his fashionable Heures Sautantes mechanisms protected by patents, he engaged in manufacturing the jump hour components while also finishing the base ebauche and assembling sourced cases and ancillary components. Reassuringly, each timepiece received the master's full attention as it was transformed at his bench into a finished watch. In this regard, Robert Cart Sr. may rightfully be granted the accolade of being a watchmaker's watchmaker!

[sourced from; Google searches, Tick Talk © 2014, Swiss Timepieces Makers 1775-1975, Kathleen H. Pritchard
Modern Calendar Watches, Journal Suisse d'Horlogerie, Bernard Humbert
Ewiger Kalendar von Robert Cart, Klassik Uhren Revue, Magazin Chronos 02/94
Stephen Bogoff Antiquarian Horologist
Antiquorum]

regards,
bb
 
Posts: 6361 | Location: Texas in the USA | Registered: July 27, 2009
IHC Member 1955
Picture of Michael P. McNamee
posted
Buster, as always Smile Based on the style of my watch, would you suspect it was the father's product as opposed to the son's?
 
Posts: 1088 | Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota in the USA | Registered: October 15, 2013
IHC Member 1291
Picture of Buster Beck
posted
Jr was left with his fathers apprenticeship from 1964 until Jr died in 1978.

The style of the watch screams late 20's to early 40's to me so I would say Robert Sr.

regards,
bb
 
Posts: 6361 | Location: Texas in the USA | Registered: July 27, 2009
IHC Member 1955
Picture of Michael P. McNamee
posted
Nice!
 
Posts: 1088 | Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota in the USA | Registered: October 15, 2013
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