Accompanied by an Extract from the Patek Philippe Archives confirming the date of manufacture as 1953 and its subsequent sale on June 9th of the following year.
According to our research the present watch has never before appeared at auction.
Patek Philippe introduced the reference 1578 in 1943 and it was made in three series, the majority fitted with calibre 12-120 or 12-400 movements.
Alfred A. Knopf (September 12, 1892-August 11, 1984) was founder and chairman of the prestigious publishing firm that carries his name. Born and raised in New York City he attended Columbia University and upon graduation in 1912 he entered the publishing world working for Double Day.
Knopf left that firm in 1915 to open his own company. He sought to bring quality European literature to America by publishing authors like Joseph Conrad, W. Somerset Maugham, Andre Gide and Simone du Beauvoir. He also represented some of the biggest American authors of the day including H. L. Mencken, Theodore Dreiser, James Baldwin and John Updike. Not only was he known for quality literature but Knopf was a master of style and worked to bring esthetic excellence to both the design and print of his books.
In 1960 Alfred A. Knopf Inc. merged with Random House with Alfred retaining editorial control for the next five years. The Knopf imprint remains in use today.
In 1941 Alfred Knopf published the book The Blood Remembers by Helen Norcross Hedrick. While Knopf planned a big public release for this book set in southern Oregon, World War II intervened when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Their paths crossed a quarter of a century later when she became Alfred's second wife, following the death of his first wife Blanche in 1966. They were married in April of 1967 in Rio de Janeiro and remained inseparable until his death in 1984. The present watch is from a descendant of Ms. Hedrick. She continued to wear Alfred's watch as a testimony of her love until her death in January of 1995.