• Important Watches Including A  auction at Christies

    Sale 1372

    Important Watches Including A CONNOISSEUR'S VISION PART II

    10 May 2010, Geneva

  • Lot 57

    Patek Philippe. A fine and rare 18K gold World Time wristwatch with box

    SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE, GENÈVE, REF. 1415, MOVEMENT NO. 929'694, CASE NO. 647'130, MANUFACTURED IN 1946

    Price Realised  

    Patek Philippe. A fine and rare 18K gold World Time wristwatch with box
    Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, ref. 1415, movement no. 929'694, case no. 647'130, manufactured in 1946
    Cal. 12'''120 World Time nickel-finished lever movement, 18 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, silvered matte dial, applied gold Roman numerals, gold hands, outer revolving silvered and black ring for the diurnal and nocturnal hours, circular case, revolving bezel engraved with the names of 41 world cities, teardrop lugs, snap on back, 18K gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    31 mm. diam.


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    With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with raised hour markers in gold in 1946 and its subsequent sale on 20 December 1950. Furthermore delivered with Patek Philippe contemporary brown presentation box.

    The present watch is preserved in overall harmonious and appealing condition. The case is of unusually good quality still displaying a strong hallmark to the left band and the bezel not showing any loss to the black enamelled city names. Furthermore the original winder is still present. Consequently this reference 1415 is a lovely "prêt à porter" technical wristwatch offering tremendous value and pleasure to its future owner.

    Reference 1415
    Reference 1415 was introduced in 1939 and remained in production until 1954 approximately. Its movement was based on the established Patek Philippe in-house calibre 12'''-120.

    Some 115 movements were upgraded for this model with the ingenious, patented world time mechanism invented by Louis Cottier, the celebrated Geneva watchmaker. Reference 1415 HU (for Heure Universelle or World Time) was either cased in yellow or pink gold. Only one example in platinum is known to date.

    Until 1948, reference 1415 HU was only available with the classic metal dial, either silvered or more exclusively rose. During the very last years of production, this model was also available in very few pieces only with cloisonné enamel dial.

    The hand-engraved bezel would show international cities around the world. Whereas earlier examples of reference 1415 HU would only list 28 cities, the latest generation would, such as the present watch, account for 41 international locations.

    Examples of reference 1415 HU, both with metal and enamel dials, are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 243 - 247.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Pre-Lot Text

    A CONNOISSEUR'S VISION PART II

    14 MASTER PIECES FROM ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST SIGNIFICANT PRIVATE COLLECTIONS OF VINTAGE PATEK PHILIPPE WATCHES

    IN NOVEMBER 2009, CHRISTIE'S GENEVA HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO OFFER "PART ONE" OF THIS FAMOUS COLLECTION: TEN COMPLICATED WRISTWATCHES - OF WHICH NOT ONLY ALL OF THEM SOLD, BUT ALSO SOME OF THEM BROKE NEW WORLD RECORDS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE CATEGORIES. NOVICE AND SEASONED COLLECTORS FROM VIRTUALLY 5 CONTINENTS WERE COMPETING AGAINST MUSEUMS AND DISTINGUISHED MEMBERS OF THE TRADE OVER THIS FIRST SELECTION. IT IS NOW, FOR A SECOND TIME, AN IMMENSE PRIVILEGE FOR CHRISTIE'S TO HAVE BEEN CHOSEN WITH THE SALE OF THIS GROUP OF HISTORICAL AND VALUABLE WATCHES. MOST IMPORTANTLY, AN OCCASION OF LONG AWAITED IMPORTANCE, IS THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE WORLD FAMOUS REFERENCE 1527 IN OVER 20 YEARS - DOUBTLESSLY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT COLLECTOR'S WRISTWATCHES TO HAVE REMAINED IN PRIVATE HANDS.

    In 1992, together with another private collector, the present collector brought out the first book dedicated to complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches. At the time, the only other publication dedicated to wristwatches by this distinguished Geneva manufacturer was the official book edited by Patek Philippe. Shortly after its publication, I discovered Complicated Patek Philippe Wristwatches. Throughout my career as a specialist this book has repeatedly served as a valuable source of scholarship and of inspiration. This reference book is now considered a collector's piece in its own right.

    In 2008, when I visited the collector for the first time, I learned how it all started. In the mid 1970s he discovered an appealing Rolex Prince in the Portobello Market. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs with a great sensitivity for good engineering, he appreciated the perfect harmony of technical complexity and superb design. The initial Rolex rapidly grew into a collection. One day around 1979, the collector held a vintage perpetual calendar wristwatch by Patek Philippe in his hands for the first time. He recalls very well that at that moment he knew that this was going to be the passion for which he would want to sacrifice his existing collection.

    During the 1970s there were no reference books available on vintage wristwatches, no museums exhibited wristwatches as they do today, and international watch auctions did not include wristwatches. All information was down to personal research, exchange with other collectors and manual study at home. It certainly took passion, connoisseurship, perseverance and vision to pursue this new field of collecting.

    Shortly after, auction houses started to accept vintage wristwatches for their established auctions of pocket watches and clocks. Not only did this allow collectors to compare their watches with the pieces on offer, but they were able to discover new models and exchange information in New York, London or Geneva with similarly minded collectors. Throughout the 1980s, the collector enlarged and improved his collection. Gradually, he put together what today is known to be one of the finest groups of ultra-rare complicated Patek Philippe watches in the world.

    By means of offering this collection at auction, it is a pleasure to offer new generations of collectors the possibility of travelling back in time; a time in which they were not yet active as collectors. For time, which is the essence of watch making, gives us a second opportunity to discover, study and bid on treasures which were one man's vision and his passion for over 30 years.

    Aurel Bacs


    Literature

    The present watch is prominently described and illustrated in Patek Philippe Complicated Wrist Watches by Giampiero Negretti & Paolo de Vecchi, pp. 152 & 153.