Henry-Daniel Capt was a Swiss watch maker, who specialised in the production of complicated, musical and automaton watches.History
Capt was born in Chenit, Switzerland, in 1773. He was one of the first Geneva watch makers to use the musical mechanism with a pinned cylinder and tuned teeth comb.
Between 1802 and 1811, Capt worked in partnership with Daniel Piguet. After parting ways, Capt worked alone until 1830, when he began working with Aubert and Son.
Their watches, bearing the signature ‘Aubert & Capt’, were among the first watches in Geneva with chronograph.
In 1880, the firm was purchased by Gallopin, registering its name as ‘H. Capt Horloger, Maison Gallopin Successeurs’.
Among the first in Geneva to use the musical mechanism with pinned cylinder and tuned teeth comb, he was famous for his snuffboxes with music and automaton scenes.
Watches sold in their stored were signed as such, while watches supplied to other retailers were simply signed ‘Henry Capt’.
Capt is now considered one of the foremost makers of small musical automata in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
In 2007, Antiquorum sold a rectangular diamond-set silk-lined coin purse fitted with a concealed watch and a concealed portrait for HK$177,000. It was created around 1850 and is made from 18K gold.
A rare Henry Capt musical watch emerged on the market in Antiquorum's February 2011 sale catelogue with an estimate of $100,000-150,000.
Named ‘The Music of Love Repeating’, the watch was created around 1810.
It is made of 18K gold, and features an image of a cupid on a see-saw with a dragonfly and a concealed erotic image. Capt watches with two automaton scenes are very rare.