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    Sale 1353

    Important Pocketwatches and Wristwatches

    12 May 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 379

    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and rare 18K white gold asymmetrical wristwatch, designed by Gilbert Albert

    SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE, GENEVE, REF. 3424, MOVEMENT NO. 856'904, CASE NO. 2'633'483, MANUFACTURED IN 1958

    Price Realised  

    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and rare 18K white gold asymmetrical wristwatch, designed by Gilbert Albert
    Signed Patek Philippe, Geneve, ref. 3424, movement no. 856'904, case no. 2'633'483, manufactured in 1958
    Cal. 8'''85 circular nickel-finished lever movement, 18 jewels, the silvered matte dial with black baton numerals, in rhomboid-shaped asymmetrical case with curved stepped sides, snap on back, 18K white gold Patek Philippe buckle and black leather bracelet, case, dial and movement signed
    40 mm. overall length & 27 mm. wide


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    Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the movement of the present watch in 1958. It was encased in 1965 and sold on 30 January 1980.

    In 1955, Patek Philippe teamed up with Gilbert Albert, a young Geneva based jewelery designer, with the aim of producing a series of unusual wristwatches. The talented artist took his inspiration from his passion for modern art, notably works by Brancusi and Mondrian, and his daring and unconventional case designs are considered as cutting-edge today as they were 40 years ago.

    The present watch is from the celebrated "Ricochet" collection of asymmetrical watches, described and illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 78, 163 (ref. 3424 in platinum with diamond-set bezel), 187 and 188. Many of these revolutionary designs never went above the prototype stage, most certainly due to the uncertain commercial success of the revolutionary design.

    The avant-garde design of reference 3424 however appealed to Patek Philippe's clientele and consequently lead to the manufacture of an extremely small quantity of this model: according to our researches, only five examples of this reference in white gold have appeared in public to date, however all featuring black sector lines on the dial. The present watch is the only example of a reference 3424 in white gold known to date with painted black "baton" indexes instead of the better known sector lines.

    Recently overhauled in the workshops of Patek Philippe in Geneva, the present watch is furthermore in excellent overall condition, still retaining the International Customer Service tag and label to the back.
    Few wristwatches have achieved such iconic status as the asymmetric creations by Patek Philippe. Even 40 years after its creation, reference 3424 is more modern than many watches of current production. Thanks to its landmark design and touch of contemporary art, it promises to attract more curious and admiring looks than numerous complicated peers could ever hope for.

    Provenance

    Formerly the Property of Walter G. Ashworth
    For over 35 years, the former magazine publisher Walter G. Ashworth has been involved with photography. Having studied the metier with the renowned German wildlife and scenic photographer Anton Kaiser, his specialty became architectural and black and white fine art photographs.

    His great grandfather's Omega pocket watch which was passed down to him in the mid 1970s woke his interest in watches. His fascination with fine timepieces resulted in a collection comprising a diversity of brands, styles and complications as well as rare limited editions and one-of -a-kind wristwatches.

    The passionate motorcyclist Walter G. Ashworth is also a keen collector of Tiffany, Persian rugs, photographs and vintage automobiles.