The 77 cm (30.3 inch) refractor telescope made by Henry and Gautier became operational around 1886–1887, was the largest in a privately funded observatory, and the first at such high altitude (Шаблон:Convert above sea level). It was slightly bigger in aperture and several metres longer than the new (1895) 30 inch at Pulkovo observatory in the Russian Empire. The French telescope was also at a higher altitude. The two 30 inch telescopes had taken the crown from the 69 cm at Vienna Observatory (completed early 1880s). All three were outperformed by the 36 in (91 cm) refractor installed at the Lick Observatory in 1889.
As a scientific institution, the Nice Observatory no longer exists. It was merged with CERGA in 1988 to form the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur.
The Nice Observatory was featured in the 1999 film Simon Sez.
- Henri Joseph Anastase Perrotin 1880—1904
- General J. A. L. Bassot 1904—1917
- Gaston Fayet 1917—1962
- Jean-Claude Pecker 1962—1969
- Philippe Delache 1969—1972
- Philippe Delache 1975
- Philippe Delache 1989—1994