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    Sale 1992

    Important Watches

    24 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 85

    PATEK PHILIPPE. A RARE 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH ENAMEL DIAL

    SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE, GENEVE, MOVEMENT NO. 760879, CASE NO. 682812, REF. 2526, CIRCA 1954

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    PATEK PHILIPPE. A RARE 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH ENAMEL DIAL
    Signed Patek Philippe, Geneve, Movement No. 760879, Case No. 682812, Ref. 2526, circa 1954
    Cal. 12-600 AT nickel-finished lever movement stamped twice with the seal of Geneva, 30 jewels, gyromax balance, micrometer regulator, adjusted to heat, cold, isochronism and 5 positions, 18k gold engine-turned rotor, cream enamel dial with applied baton numerals, subsidiary seconds, circular water-resistant-type case with stepped bezel and down-turned lugs, monogrammed screw back, case, dial and movement signed, with an 18k gold Patek Philippe buckle
    35mm diam.


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    Accompanied by the original Patek Philippe red leather-covered box and sales tag.

    According to our research the present watch has never before appeared at auction.

    The reference 2526, introduced in 1953, was Patek Philippe's first model featuring an automatic movement, the legendary calibre 12-600 AT. With its attractive combination of a state-of-the-art movement and traditional enamel dial this reference is considered a very desirable collectors' watch.

    For a similar example see Huber & Banbery, Patek Philippe Wristwatches, Volume 2, Second Edition, p. 217.

    Frederick W. Rettenmeyer (June 29, 1891-April 29, 1965) was the former President and Chairman of the Napier Company. The firm was established in 1875 as Whitney and Rice of Attleboro, MA. manufacturing men's watch chains. Over the years the company changed names on several occasions and in 1922 President James H. Napier changed the firm name to Napier Co. It was at one point the largest privately owned jewellery manufacturer in the country. During the 1930s, 40s and 50s Napier jewellery designers followed the high fashion of Europe and the company was known for its quality handmade pieces.

    Frederick Rettenmeyer, born in N. Attleboro, MA. was associated with Napier Co. for 58 years. As a young man he received art instruction from a graduate of Yale Art School and attended classes at Hartford Art School and New Britain Teacher's College. He began his company career at the age of 16 working under his father William who was a designer at Napier Co. William a former Tiffany & Co. silversmith encouraged Frederick's interest in design. When his father retired Frederick had established himself as a quality designer and at the age of 21 he was promoted to head of department. Over the next 58 years, he worked in various positions within the firm. He remained committed to innovative jewellery design and in 1953 took a three month tour of Europe with his wife where he visited various manufactures. Rettenmeyer was named president in March 1960 following the death of James Napier on February 8, 1960. Frederick Rettenmeyer remained with the firm until he retired as President on March 24, 1964. He remained Chairman of the Executive Board until his death the following year.

    The present watch was given to Frederick W. Rettenmeyer by Jim Napier on his 50th Anniversary with the firm in 1957.

    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FORMERLY BELONGING TO FREDERICK W. RETTENMEYER