• IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A  auction at Christies

    Sale 1369

    IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A CONNOISSEUR'S VISION

    16 November 2009, Geneva

  • Lot 80

    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and rare 18K gold openface perpetual calendar keyless lever watch with moon phases

    SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE & CIE., GENEVE, RETAILED BY TIFFANY & CO., MOVEMENT NO. 198'282, CASE NO. 418'269, MANUFACTURED IN 1938

    Price Realised  

    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and rare 18K gold openface perpetual calendar keyless lever watch with moon phases
    Signed Patek Philippe & Cie., Geneve, retailed by Tiffany & Co., movement no. 198'282, case no. 418'269, manufactured in 1938
    Cal. 17''' nickel-finished lever movement, 18 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, eccentric silvered matte dial, applied gold baton and Roman numerals, subsidiary seconds, aperture for moon phases, three windows for date, month and day, circular plain case, engraved inscription T.A. Miller Cuyahoga Falls Ohio, USA to the inside of the hinged back, engraved initials TAM to the outside, case and movement signed by maker, dial signed by maker and retailer
    45 mm. diam.


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    With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial and applied gold hour markers in 1938 and its subsequent sale on 6 June 1946. Furthermore delivered with Tiffany & Co. New York fitted presentation box, Tiffany 14K gold clip with engraved initials TAM, a short length of gilt chain and a gilt pocket knife.

    The present watch is one of only four examples of such type with eccentric time dial and calendar apertures made by Patek Philippe, masterpieces of elegance and engineering combining the perpetual calendar and moon phases with the simplicity of an Art Deco style dial. As all four watches present slight differences in regard to their dial layout and colour, each can be considered as unique.

    It is interesting to note that a nearly identical watch, movement no. 198'278 ordered by Fred Firmenich for Mr. Esteve Monegal i Prat, the creator of the perfume brand "Myrurgia", is on permanent exhibition at the prestigious Patek Philippe Museum, inv. P-1313 (see also "Amitié parfumée scellée par une montre" by Arnaud Tellier, director of the Patek Philippe Museum, published in "Magazine de la Tribune de Genève", edition no. 324, September 2004).

    Provenance

    Formerly the Property of T.A. Miller, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio Concluding from the engraved inscription on the cuvette of the present watch, one can assume that its first owner was Theodore A. Miller, founder of Miller Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio.

    The advent of the bicycle and automobile industries during the late 19th century caused the demand for pneumatic tires to skyrocket. Numerous rubber companies operated in or near Akron, Ohio, since then also known as the "Rubber Capital of the World". The most important rubber factories was B.F. Goodrich Company, the first US firm to manufacture pneumatic automobile tires.

    Largely because of the massive expansion of the rubber industry, Akron was the fastest-growing city in the United States from 1910 to 1920, tripling in size at that time. Wealthy citizens started populating the neighbouring municipality of Cuyahoga Falls, escaping from the noise and fume of Akron's sprawling factory buildings.

    Of considerable importance, Miller Tire and Rubber Company covered at one time nearly 400'000 square metres, equalling to the size of around 15 soccer fields. The company manufactured tires, tubes, accessories and repair materials, drug sundries, bathing wear, rubber balls and toys, and moulded rubber goods. In 1930, the firm was sold to B.F. Goodrich Co.

    Interestingly, the celebrated actor Clark Gable briefly attended Akron University in Akron from 1919 to 1920. He studied medicine and spent his breaks working in the Miller Tire and Rubber Co.