• IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A  auction at Christies

    Sale 1369


    16 November 2009, Geneva

  • Lot 159

    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and rare 18K gold hinged single button chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals, tachymetre scale and vertically positioned subsidiary dials


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and rare 18K gold hinged single button chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals, tachymetre scale and vertically positioned subsidiary dials
    Signed Patek Philippe & Co., Geneva, Switzerland, movement no. 197'876, case no. 289'102, manufactured in 1924
    Cal. 13''' nickel-finished lever movement, 23 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, hinged gold cuvette, silvered dial, black hard enamel Breguet numerals, blued steel spade hands, outer five minute divisions and tachymetre scale, two vertically positioned subsidiary dials for 30 minutes register and constant seconds, circular case, ire lugs, hinged back, chronograph mechanism operated through the crown, later 18K gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, cuvette, dial and movement signed
    34 mm. diam.

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    With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial, Breguet numerals and tachymetre scale in 1924 and its subsequent sale on 26 April 1926.

    According to literature (Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 81), Patek Philippe manufactured their first chronograph wristwatch in 1926 which was sold on 20 January 1927 for the, at that time, impressive amount of Fr. 2,135. The present watch however was already started in 1924 and sold in April of 1926, at a time when the allegedly first chronograph wristwatch by Patek Philippe was still in production. In fact, closer analysis of the present watch shows a variety of distinguished elements which on later single button chronographs can no longer be found. Amongst them to mention are the most unusual double spiral tachymetre scale, the unusually small vertically positioned subsidiary dials and the position of Patek Philippe's signature, partly above and partly below the centre.

    Above features combined with the likeliness of the present chronograph being the first ever made chronograph wristwatch by Patek Philippe render this watch a highly attractive timepiece of considerable historical interest for any discerning collector.

    According to latest research, Patek Philippe single button chronographs were in production between 1924 and the late 1930s. The majority was cased in the classic "Calatrava-style" case, the early examples, such as the present watch, with an "Officier" case. Many of these watches are actually only known through literature and archival images. As a matter of fact, over a period of nearly 40 years of international watch auctions, as few as only another six single button chronographs by Patek Philippe with "Officier" cases have been accounted for. Most remarkably the present example is the only one featuring a tachometre scale.

    The ébauche for this unusual watch was commissioned by Patek Philippe and made by Victorin Piguet & Co. of Le Sentier. During the 1920s the company made most of the ébauches for complicated movements, including single button and split seconds chronographs, mainly for prestigious firms like Patek Philippe.

    Taking its immense rarity, original and good condition in consideration, paired with its significant historical value, the present watch is, without exaggeration, a truly important collector's watch.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

    Pre-Lot Text

    The Property of an Important Collector

    The possibly first ever made chronograph wristwatch by Patek Philippe