• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1417

    Rare Watches Including Nautilus 40 Part II

    14 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 207

    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, early and possibly unique 18K gold “Cabriolet” keywound lever pocket chronometer with chain fusée, original certificate and box



    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, early and possibly unique 18K gold “Cabriolet” keywound lever pocket chronometer with chain fusée, original certificate and box
    Numbered 24’071 by Patek Philippe and signed by the retailer Peña in Madrid, manufactured in 1864
    MOVEMENT: manual, cal. 19’’’ fully jewelled, three quarter plate, chain fusée, lever escapement, bimetallic compensation balance, diamond endstone, screwed gold chatons
    DIAL: white enamel, Roman numerals, subsidiary seconds
    CASE: 18K gold finely engraved vermicelli decorated revolving “cabriolet” case consisting of three parts, similarly decorated hinged outer case consisting of three parts, one inner and one outer bezel and hinged back centred by a blank cartouche with engraved initials, gold cuvette with engraved inscription Recuerdo de mi amigo D. Fidel Garcia Lomas, Enero 186, 54.5 mm. diam.
    SIGNED: movement and dial bearing retailer signature Peña Madrid, case and movement numbered 24’071 by Patek Philippe, case also stamped with English import letters for 1870
    ACCOMPANIED BY: Patek Philippe Certificat d’Origine et de Garantie confirming the ¾ plate chain fusée movement, lever escapement and the « étui tournante » or revolving gold case, original fitted Peña Madrid brown mottled composition box numbered 24’071 containing a spare crystal and spare main spring and a gold ratchet key on a short length of gold chain. Patek Philippe's Extract from the Archives confirms the production of the watch with fusée lever escapement and cabriolet case with engraved “vermicelle” pattern in 1864 and its subsequent sale on 9 January 1869.

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Consigned by the grandson of the original owner and fresh to the market, this watch stands out by its excellent overall condition and the presence of the original certificate, presentation box and spare parts.

    It is believed to be to date only known example of a Patek Philippe timepiece featuring the very unusual use of a chain fusée transmission, one of the most effective complications for an increased rate accuracy of a mechanical watch. The three quarter plate construction of the movement with the chain fusée lever escapement and diamond endstone is in the style of English pocket chronometers. Certainly made to special order, the watch impresses with a number of other characteristics, notably the “cabriolet” case and the retailer signature Peña Madrid found on the dial and the movement and the English import marks in the case.

    This so-called "Cabriolet" watch is distinguished by its inner case revolving within the outer case conceived for it to be used either "open" and showing the dial or "closed" showing the back of the inner case. The cases are of such outstandingly high quality, allowing the inner case to fit so perfectly into the outer case, that the two sides show virtually no difference, neither visible nor tangible, when used as hunter case. Research has revealed that only nine other "Cabriolet" watches by Patek Philippe have appeared in public to date, the present example being the only one with chain fusée transmission.

    The term "Vermicelli" engraving stands for a surface covered completely with small cuts in form of scrolls, curves and others. The decoration on this watch is of outstanding quality and crispness.

    Other examples of "Cabriolet" watches are illustrated and described in Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe Watches - Volume I, pp. 102 - 105.

    Special Notice

    On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

    Pre-Lot Text