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Robert Robin Fob Watch, c. 1797

This unique watch is undoubtedly one of the most valuable pieces in the Palazzo Falson collection.  It is signed Robin a’ Paris No. 2, and was made in Paris around 1797 by Robert Robin (1742-1799).  Robin was King Louis XVI’s favourite clockmaker.  Distinctive for its ten-hour dial, this watch reflects French Revolutionary Time, which was based on the decimal principle.  Revolutionary or Decimal Time was officially adopted in 1793, and it stipulated that the Gregorian calendar was to be abandoned in favour of the Republican calendar, which divided the day into ten hours with one hundred minutes each having one hundred seconds.  Although quite simple, this system of timekeeping did not prove popular, and by 1795 was no longer compulsory.  On the 1st January 1806, French timekeeping reverted to the traditional system.  Few examples of these watches were produced, most of which are no longer extant. 


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