• IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A  auction at Christies

    Sale 1369


    16 November 2009, Geneva

  • Lot 83

    Patek Philippe. A highly attractive and possibly unique 18K gold chronograph wristwatch with black sector dial


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. A highly attractive and possibly unique 18K gold chronograph wristwatch with black sector dial
    Signed Patek Philippe & Co, Genève, ref. 130, movement no. 862'033, case no. 617'529, manufactured in 1938
    Cal. 13''' nickel-finished lever movement, 23 jewels, black sector dial, applied baton and Arabic numerals to the inner chapter ring, outer five minute railway divisions and tachymetre scale, two subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 30 minutes register, circular case, snap on back, rectangular chronograph buttons in the band, 18K gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    33 mm. diam.

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    With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with black dial, raised yellow gold hour markers and tachometer scale in 1938 and its subsequent sale on 9 June 1938.

    Until to date, no gold reference 130 by Patek Philippe featuring a black sector dial was known to have survived; in fact, only one example in stainless steel and gold has been offered at auction. Archival images of two gold examples with black sector dials are published in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, first edition, p. 205, but the whereabouts of these pieces was unknown.

    Consequently, the first public appearance of the present example must be considered a sensation to the world of collectors, furthermore since close analysis of plate 345 op. cit. and this treasure let conclude that it is the very same watch. Most noteworthy is the "FAB. SUISSE" designation at the very bottom of the dial, an extraordinary rarity by itself. Very much to the purist's delight, the present black dial is fully confirmed by the Extract from the Archives.

    Close study of the dial reveals that no effort was spared in its method of manufacture. It is understood that the bare dial plate was first covered with a layer of black lacquer followed by the superimposing of the signatures and scales in a warm, off-white tone. Interestingly, the signature and scales are gently raised, a technique known from silvered dials of the same period. Ultimately, the signature and all scales were covered with gold powder to harmonize with the yellow gold case. Today, this unbelievable "chef d'oeuvre" of dial making is preserved in totally unmolested and incredibly charismatic condition. Not surprisingly, its 70 years of life have not gone by unnoticed and the elements have let the dial age as naturally as imaginable. Some of the gold paint has partly come off with time, rendering the watch an unusual look, seeming that the scales were printed in two different tones.

    The case is remarkably well preserved and has not been polished to an extent where the beauty and original proportions of this watch would suffer. As a matter of fact, the hallmark in the band is still impressively crisp and the edges to the lugs are surprisingly sharp.

    Its uniqueness and quality paired with its appeal and freshness to the market catapult this trophy right away into the elite of reference 130 chronographs.

    The production of the simple chronograph with reference 130 was launched in 1934. The model was produced in different precious metal versions as well as in stainless steel.

    Further examples of early reference 130 chronographs with sector dials are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 263 and in Ore d'Oro by Jader Barracca, Negretti, Franco Nencini, pl. C9.