Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mastery of Design: Prince Albert’s Birthday Watch, 1859

Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II


Gold Case Watch
Made for Prince Albert, 1859
Aubert & Klaftenberger
The Royal Collection

The firm of Aubert & Klaftenberger was the favorite clock and watchmaker of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. For as much as Albert loved beautiful things, there was one trait he valued all the more—accuracy. Aubert & Klaftenberger, in the Prince’s estimation, afforded more accuracy in their timepieces than anyone else.

For her husband’s fortieth birthday in 1859, Victoria asked the firm to create a simple, elegant and scientifically nifty watch. The result was this understated piece with a turned 18 karat gold case and self-winding capability. It was quite a marvel of clockwork and gave the Prince the precision and reliability that he so cherished.

Just to make sure it was extra-special, the watch was engraved: “To Dearest Albert, from his ever devoted Victoria R, Aug 26th 1859.”

Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Images Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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