The present Dome clock is distinguished by its excellent overall condition.
Patek Philippe opened its Electronic Division in 1948 with the goal of exploring photoelectric, electronic, and nuclear timekeeping. The department produced the groundbreaking solar clock, the first of its kind. In 1955, the solar-powered photoelectric clocks were exhibited at the 1955 World Symposium, and displayed at the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts. In the 1960s, Patek Philippe began using quartz technology in its clock production, phasing out the use of solar versions.
Since their launch in 1955, few examples of these clocks are produced every year, each unique by its individually decorated case featuring engravings of varying pattern, cloisonné enamel scenes or leather-covered with applied ornaments. The small production is a result of the few artisans skilled enough to decorate the clock's challenging curved surfaces, works of art in their own right highly appreciated in today's collector market.
Towards the end of the 1940s, the Swiss watchmaking industry revived the technique of cloisonné enamel, initially in pocket and wristwatches such as the celebrated World Time models, as of the late 1950s also for the decoration of clocks, mainly Dome clocks. This elaborate and rather complicated method uses fine bands (filaments) of gold or copper to outline the design subject, which are then soldered to the surface of a plate. The empty spaces are filled with ground enamel and fired multiple times so that the surface becomes perfectly leveled. Even the most talented enamellers may need up to one year to complete such work on a clock, consequently only a handful of these decorative timepieces leave the workshops of Patek Philippe every year.
Examples of Dome clocks are prominently illustrated and described in Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe Watches Vol. II, pp. 403 - 411.