Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with sweep centre seconds and silvered dial in 1935 and its subsequent sale on 23 December 1935.
The present watch is one of the most outstanding examples of the landmark reference 96. It is distinguished by its until today virtually unimaginable and unknown, exceptional dial layout. Extensive research in the archives of the celebrated dial manufacturer Stern Frères in Geneva, Patek Philippe's supplier of dials at the period, has resulted in the discovery of the original drawing for this paragon of late Art Deco design, made in 1935 by special order for the renowned jeweller Margraf in Berlin in 1935.
This highly exclusive dial stands out by the unusual combination of three hard enamel railway scales, the innermost ring for the hours with elongated indexes to 3, 6 and 9 o'clock, the second, the centre ring, is coloured in a warm, ivory tone and calibrated for the minutes, the outermost third ring indicates the half seconds divisions.
This very symmetrical design is completed by the presence of the black hard enamel disc centred precisely between the signature and the border underneath the 12 o'clock position. This very minimalist but most architectural design is in perfect harmony with contemporary design of the 1930s, most notably the avant-garde Bauhaus style radiating from Germany.
The present watch furthermore impresses by it overall very good condition. The case shows only very minimal wear and has not suffered from noteworthy polishing. In fact, its proportions remain crisp, most evident to the beholders eye are the sharp edges of the lugs. The charismatic dial reflects a great shine with no signs of any restoration and enhances the overall look of this extraordinary wristwatch.
Special orders for such exceptional watches, involving important expenditure in regard to cost and production time, were executed solely for the most prominent clients of both Patek Philippe and their retailers, in this particular case Margraf in Berlin.
The prestigious jeweller Margraf located on Berlin's boulevard Unter den Linden, created and retailed superior quality watches, jewellery and silver from around mid 19th century until the late 1930s. The jeweller of choice of numerous German noble families, Margraf was also commissioned with the acquisition and the sale of high quality jewellery, notably for members of the Von Mecklenburg dynasty.