• IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A  auction at Christies

    Sale 1369


    16 November 2009, Geneva

  • Lot 218

    Patek Philippe. A very fine and rare 18K pink gold split seconds chronograph wristwatch with pink dial, original certificate, envelope, invoice and box


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. A very fine and rare 18K pink gold split seconds chronograph wristwatch with pink dial, original certificate, envelope, invoice and box
    Signed Patek Philippe & Co., Geneve, ref. 1436, movement no. 862'781, case no. 638'790, manufactured in 1941
    Cal. 13''' nickel-finished lever movement stamped twice with the Geneva seal, 25 jewels, micrometer regulator, pink dial, applied pink gold baton and Roman numerals, pink gold feuille hands, outer railway five minute divisions and tachymetre scale, two subsidiary dials indicating constant seconds and 30 minutes register, circular case, extended downturned lugs, snap on back, two rectangular chronograph buttons in the band, 18K pink gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    33 mm. diam.

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    With Patek Philippe Certificat d'Origine et de Garantie, envelope and Patek Philippe & Cie. S.A. Genève original invoice dated 18 May 1946 addressed to Monsieur Victorio LUZURIAGA c/o Instruments de Physique, Genève. Furthermore delivered with the original fitted brown leather presentation box and Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with applied gold hour markers and tachometre scale in 1941 and its subsequent sale on 18 May 1946.

    Patek Philippe reference 1436 is one of the most synonymous wristwatches for the modernization of society in the 20th century. Whether in action to measure time intervals at a car race at Le Mans or a manned mission into orbit, the use of the split second chronograph fascinates today as much as when this reference was introduced in 1938.
    Predominantly cased in yellow gold, the pink gold reference 1436 is one of the rarest gems in the universe of complicated wristwatches. In fact, research reveals that in over 30 years of international auctions, not even 10 pink gold split second chronographs by Patek Philippe have been surfaced and barely half of them are fitted with the charismatic and state-of-the-art pink dial. The present watch furthermore stands out as it still retains its original invoice and certificate, believed to be the only one of this group to have survived in such complete manner.

    Preserved in excellent, unmolested condition and with formidable provenance, this watch combines all elements the demanding collector would seek. The incredibly charismatic, antique rose coloured dial does not show signs of cosmetic enhancement and the hard enamel signature and scales are as raised as the connoisseur would expect. The case, barely polished, not only retains the original proportions to an excellent extent but also shows beautifully the Swiss gold mark to the side.

    Reference 1436
    Since its introduction to the market in 1938, reference 1436 remained the best known split seconds chronograph model produced by Patek Philippe. It was predominantly cased in either yellow or pink gold, no examples are known to date in white gold or platinum. The elegant reference 1436 and its high quality and complex movement certainly marked a peak in the evolution of technical wristwatches - an area in which Patek Philippe has been foremost for generations.

    During over 30 years of production, reference 1436 saw a fascinating development both technically and aesthetically. Numerous dial designs have been given to this model. Until production of reference 1436 was discontinued in the early 1970s, it has seen two different constructions in regard to how the chronograph seconds hand would be split. On the first generation of this model such as the present watch, made until the late 1940s, the crown would serve as a button to split and reunite the two seconds hand. The second generation was fitted with a co-axial push button within the crown for the split seconds function.

    The model is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 273, pl. 422 (first generation) and p. 274, pl. 423 (second generation).

    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.


    According to Patek Philippe's original sales invoice, the present watch was sold to Mr. Victorio Luzuriaga at the Société d'Instruments de Physique in Geneva or SIP.

    Victorio Luzuriaga Iradi (San Sebastian, Spain, 1882-1960)
    Victorio Luzuriaga was one of Spain's most celebrated and prestigious industrialists, an enterprising, tireless worker who contributed much to the development of his home region, the Basque country.

    After the death of his father in 1928 he took over the management of their metallurgical firm "Javier Luzuriaga & Son" in Pasaia, immediately expanding the line of production. The most important development took place after the Spanish Civil War, when Luzuriaga found a solution to the considerable shortage of fuel by launching the production of gas generators for cars and trucks - the company's first step into the automobile industry. Astilleros Luzuriaga SA was founded with Victorio Luzuriaga as president.

    The accrued need for molded and laminated steel led to the acquisition of José de Orueta SA but due to the deficiency of electricity, the output was very limited. The ingenious entrepreneur Don Victorio mastered also this obstacle by purchasing and reactivating a decommissioned hydroelectric plant in Hernani in 1945 and within a few days, the problem was solved.

    With the increasing number of motor cars in Spain following World War II, Luzuriaga concentrated on large scale production of supplies for this industry which, in order to satisfy his customers high quality standards, required the acquisition of new machinery impossible to obtain or produce in Spain.

    It can safely be assumed that Victorio Luzuriaga used the high precision machinery of Société d'Instruments de Physique SIP in Geneva, enjoying international reputation already at the time. It was certainly also during one of his visits to SIP in Geneva that he ordered the present watch at Patek Philippe's prestigious salon, using his supplier's address for the invoice.

    Victorio Luzuriaga, a visionary of exquisite taste, was also one of the first entrepreneurs to recognize the touristic potential of the Balearic Islands. In 1943 he undertook a revolutionary project and acquired a "finca", a large farm ground of over 1,350 hectares comprising amongst others a small village and a variety of plantations on the island of Mallorca, near the city of Palma. In collaboration with the famous mallorcan architect Francesc Casas Llompart the celebrated Hotel Maricel was build and opened its doors in 1950. At the time a meeting point for local and foreign high society, the Maricel hosted celebrities such as Montgomery Cliff, Errol Flynn, Silvia Hedges (co-owner of Benson and Hedges cigarettes), Cristobal Colon (descendant of the famous conquistador), Lord Swanson and, naturally, the Luzuriaga family, owners of the hotel and Astilleros Luzuriaga.

    The Société d'Instruments de Physique (SIP) was founded in 1862 by the scientists Auguste de la Rive and Marc Thury with the aim of developing and manufacturing scientific instruments.

    SIP Society of Instruments and Physique played a leading role in the development of high precision machines and tools, most notably with the introduction of the revolutionary "machine à pointer" or jig boring machine in 1921, a device capable of piercing items with the precision of one micron while eliminating the time-consuming steps of marking out and drilling. Part of an international group since 2006, ultra-precise machine tools and coordinate measuring systems for customers in the aerospace and precision machine industry are still sold under the brand name SIP.

    After SIP's relocation to larger premises, the factory building located at 8 rue des Vieux Grenadiers, adjacent to the prestigious Museum Patek Philippe, houses since the late 1990s the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO) and the Centre for Contemporary Art.