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Clocks and Scientific Instruments

Pendant or pocket watch with outer case

Key data

Hans Mettler, Basle, ca. 1640

Case and dial silver, rim of gold

mechanism: gilt bronze and brass

hands: blued steel

outer case: black sharkskin with silver pique ornament

watch: diameter 4.1 cm, thickness 1.8 cm

outer case: diameter 4.9 cm

Inv. 1954.38.


The exact dates of Hans Mettler's life are unknown. He came from Riehen bei Basel and was granted citizenship of Basle in 1634. From a receipt for the repair of the mechanism of the Munster clock in 1643 it emerges that he dealt not only with watches but also with large clocks. This watch has an engraved signature in italic script on the back plate, "Jean Metler / ABasle", and is the oldest extant pocket watch from Basle. It has a burnished silver case and an engraved silver dial on which the hours are indicated in Roman numerals and which is decorated with flowers.

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Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

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