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    Sale 1348

    Important Pocket Watches and Wristwatches

    12 November 2007, Geneva

  • Lot 224

    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and rare 18K gold chronograph wristwatch with black Breguet numerals and oversized subsidiary dials


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and rare 18K gold chronograph wristwatch with black Breguet numerals and oversized subsidiary dials
    Signed Patek Philippe, Geneve, ref. 1579, movement no. 868'616, case no. 683'669, manufactured in 1953
    Cal. 13''' nickel-finished lever movement stamped twice with the Geneva seal, 23 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, micrometer regulator, the silvered matte dial with black Breguet numerals, outer five minute divisions, two large subsidiary dials indicating constant seconds and 30 minutes registers, in large circular case with downturned angular or "spider" lugs, snap on back, 18K gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    36 mm. diam.

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    Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with Breguet numerals in black enamel in 1953 and its subsequent sale on 28 December 1954.

    The present watch is a fine, rare and extremely attractive example of a reference 1579 model combining the charismatic Breguet numerals with a very unusual layout, giving it a completely different look compared to the regular versions. It interestingly omits any of the technical scales (tachymetre, telemetre or pulsometre) that one would usually expect on such a watch. Consequently the entire layout could be modified moving the numerals further to the edge and enlarging the subsidiary dials. This results in better readability, both of the fifths seconds on the outer scale and the indications on the subsidiary dials. Interestingly due to the different dial proportions, the watch appears to be larger.

    Very much to one's expectation, whereas the Breguet numerals are mentioned on the Extract from the Archives, there is no mention at all of any outer scale.

    According to research, the present watch is the only example of a reference 1579 in gold and with such dial with black enamel Breguet numerals to be known to exist to date.

    Not only one of the most interesting references 1579 ever to appear at auction, it is furthermore one of the most charismatic and unspoilt examples of this model: the incredibly attractive dial, free of any cosmetic enhancement, has naturally aged and taken on a warm and near perfect off-white patina. The case retains its original proportions as never subject to overpolishing.

    Production of reference 1579 was launched in 1943. The large case and unusual lugs, also called spider lugs because of their resemblance to a spider's legs, make it easily distinguishable from other Patek Philippe chronograph wristwatches of the era.