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    Sale 1353

    Important Pocketwatches and Wristwatches

    12 May 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 369

    Patek Philippe. A fine and rare 18K gold self-winding water-resistant wristwatch with bracelet


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. A fine and rare 18K gold self-winding water-resistant wristwatch with bracelet
    Signed Patek Philippe, Geneve, ref. 2552, movement no. 760'804, case no. 684'000, manufactured in 1954
    Cal. 12-600 AT nickel-finished lever movement stamped twice with the Geneva seal, 30 jewels, engine-turned 18K gold rotor, Gyromax balance, free sprung regulator, the silvered matte dial with applied gold baton numerals, gold dauphine hands, subsidiary seconds, in circular water-resistant-type case with raised bezel, downturned lugs, the screw back with engraved coat-of-arms and motto My word is my bond, 18K gold Patek Philippe woven bracelet, the clasp stamped PPC and GF for Gay Frères and numbered 249, case, dial and movement signed
    36 mm. diam.

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    Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1954 and its subsequent sale on 29 July 1955. According to the Extract, the watch was originally sold with a leather bracelet; the present gold bracelet however can be considered contemporary to the watch.

    This watch has never been offered in public before and is believed to be the earliest example of reference 2552 known to date. In fact, the case back is very similar to the one of reference 2526, the first ever made self-winding model by Patek Philippe. The screw back is edged whereas all other known examples of reference 2552 feature rectangular-shaped indentations, allowing easy unscrewing thanks to a special key.

    The engraved motto on its back, My word is my bond, is since 1801 the motto of the London Stock Exchange.

    Manufacture of reference 2552 was launched in 1955, the majority cased in gold. It was fitted with Patek Philippe's first automatic calibre 12-600, a truly state of the art movement which was granted Swiss patent no. 289758 for "A self-winding mechanism for a wristwatch movement using the energy supplied by a rotary mass causing an eccentric part to transmit a swinging movement to an organ of the mechanism".

    For an example of a platinum and diamond-set reference 2552 see lot 287 in this auction.

    Reference 2552 and calibre 12-600 AT are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 215 & 216.