With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with gilt dial and black enamel stripes in 1960 and its subsequent sale on 30 May 1961. Furthermore delivered with Patek Philippe original receipt dated 2 June 2000 for the overhaul of the watch, amounting to CHF 1,880.
In 1955, Patek Philippe teamed up with the young Geneva based jewellery designer Gilbert Albert 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, 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.
Interestingly the description of the pink gold example of reference 3412, page 187 op. cit., states "not implemented Prototype, not made in series", confirming that this model was obviously not meant to go into production either. Another noteworthy fact is its date, 1969, nine years after the year of production of the present watch, again underlining that this particular model was originally not meant to be produced in larger quantities.
Its avant-garde design though must have appealed to collectors which consequently lead to the manufacture of an extremely small series of reference 3412: according to our researches, only seven examples of this reference in yellow gold and three in pink gold have appeared in public to date.
Never offered at auction before, the present watch furthermore stands out by its excellent, original overall condition, the gilt dial with black enamel sector lines confirmed by the Extract from the Archives. It has obviously seldom been used if at all and shows only very light signs of surface wear; the case is full and retains its original case proportions to the best extent. The dial does not show any cosmetic enhancements, the black enamel signature and lines are beautifully raised. Furthermore still retaining the original one-piece leather bracelet and gold buckle, this watch can be considered one of the best preserved examples of a reference 3412 seen in decades.