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    Sale 1413

    Rare Watches Including Important Private Collections

    16 May 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 82

    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and very rare platinum minute repeating tourbillon wristwatch with enamel dial, Breguet numerals, Certificate, second case back and box


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and very rare platinum minute repeating tourbillon wristwatch with enamel dial, Breguet numerals, Certificate, second case back and box
    Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, Tourbillon, ref. 3939H, movement no. 1'903'044, case no. 4'117'791, manufactured in 1999
    Cal. RTO 27 PS mechanical movement stamped with the Geneva seal, 28 jewels, minute repeating on two hammers, one minute tourbillon carriage, white enamel dial, applied white gold Breguet numerals, outer minute and five minutes divisions, subsidiary seconds, circular case, glazed display snap on back engraved D.S, platinum Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    34 mm. diam.

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    With Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin issued by Patek Philippe SA. Salons de Genève and dated 18 October 2000, second solid case back, second case back leather pouch, purchase invoice, fitted wooden presentation box, box protection cloth and outer packaging

    Reference 3939, officially launched in 1993 and in production until 2009, was originally available in all three gold versions, and in platinum since 1994. The overall output for platinum 3939 can be estimated at around 65 units. The movements used for this reference bear sequential movement numbers, starting with no. 1’903’000: a yellow gold example which now resides in the Patek Philippe museum. Consequently, the present piece bears the 45th such movement to leave Patek Philippe workshop.
    The case was made by Jean-Pierre Hagmann (early production) and later by Ateliers Réunis. It is 34 mm. in diameter, and 10.9 mm. thick. Such dimensions completely ignore the trend for larger timepieces typical of the current fashion. There are two reasons for this: first of all, this model was designed in the early 1990s, when the demand for larger timepieces had yet to fully bloom; another reason is that Patek Philippe decided to create, in the typical tradition of this revered manufacturer, a supremely elegant and understated timepiece: an object which expresses the pinnacle of aesthetical balance and mechanical perfection reached by watchmaking at the time. Indeed, fitting a tourbillon and a minute repeating complication in a 34 mm. case is nothing short of outstanding from a technical point of view.

    Not only this is one of the most difficult to acquire modern Patek Philippe references – indeed only 15 other similar pieces have become available over 25 years – but the present example, appearing now for the first time on the public market, furthermore features the unusual “Delta Swiss” designation on the dial. Such Delta dials seem to have been produced in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The origin of this particular signature has never been clarified. Two theories have been put forward: one states that one of the master enameller who worked on these dials added the deltas as a sort of signature following in the footsteps of the aprior (sigma) dials. The second theory considers this signature an indication of the material the dial is made of (either denoting the enamel finish, or the metal of the plate). It has to be stressed, however, that both these theory are simply an educated speculation. The only ascertained fact is the rarity and appeal of such an unusual signature, especially when found on such an important and uncommon timepiece.

    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.