Pope Pius IX Gold Pocket Watch by Aucoc

  • This masterfully crafted 19th century Swiss pocket watch was once owned by Pope Pius IX
  • The meticulously worked timepiece was created by the legendary Parisian firm of Louis Aucoc
  • Crafted of 18K yellow gold, the case is adorned by exceptional engraving and guilloché enameling
  • Both a mechanical wonder and important piece of papal history, this watch is a rare find
  • Get complete item description here
Price available upon request Item No. 30-5122

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This immensely rare and masterfully crafted Swiss gold pocket watch was made for Pope Pius IX and is an exemplary specimen of 19th-century Swiss workmanship. Created by the legendary Parisian firm of Louis Aucoc, meticulously worked 18K gold forms the engine-turned case and body of this timepiece, which boasts exquisite engraving and guilloché elements, including palm leaves, ribbons, swirls, flowers and, most importantly, the papal crest. Examination of the face shows an elegant white enameled surface upon which Roman numerals indicate the minutes with spade hands, while an auxiliary dial displays the seconds.

The 15 jewel movement is in fine working condition a key-wound gilt bridge, lateral lever escapement with a bi-metallic compensated balance. Ruby endstones on the lever and escape wheel and blued steel screws add luxurious touches to this watch's skillfully crafted workings.  

Beatified in 2000 by John Paul II, Pope Piux IX held the longest historically demonstrable pontificate in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, serving 31 years and eight months. During his pontificate, he convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, which decreed papal infallibility and defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Pope Pius IX was the first pontiff to wear a pocket watch and happened to have a particular fascination with the timepieces. Enriched by its stunning craftsmanship, this watch is certainly befitting such an important religious figure.

The Aucoc firm of was founded in 1821 by Louis Aucoc Aine as a silversmithing business at 154 Rue St. Honoré in Paris. In 1835, the business moved to Rue de la Paix, and in 1854, he retired and left his son Louis Aucoc in charge of the family firm. During his tenure, Aucoc added jewelry manufacturing to the already successful silver business with great success. The 1870s proved to be a time of great expansion for the company. Aucoc purchased the Maison Lobojois and consolidated both businesses to create La Maison Aucoc, where the legendary René Lalique apprenticed. Aucoc participated in the major International Exhibitions of the day with some of the firm's grandest jewelry creations.

The movement is numbered "4475" and bears the French "chimera" hallmark, which indicates the watch is imported (Swiss) and meets the minimum requirement of 750 gold (18K). The watch comes with a fob and its original leather case.

Circa 1835

Case: 1 7/8" diameter
This rare and important Swiss gold pocket watch was once owned by Pope Pius IX
Period: 19th Century
Origin: Other Europe
Type: Watches
Diameter: 1.88 Inches

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