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.