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    Sale 1357

    Important Watches

    17 November 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 92

    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, large, rare and historically interesting 18K gold hinged single button chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals, made for Juan V. Gomez hijo

    SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE & CO., GENEVE, MOVEMENT NO. 198'244, CASE NO. 416'294, MANUFACTURED IN 1929

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, large, rare and historically interesting 18K gold hinged single button chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals, made for Juan V. Gomez hijo
    Signed Patek Philippe & Co., Geneve, movement no. 198'244, case no. 416'294, manufactured in 1929
    Cal. 13''' nickel-finished lever movement stamped with the Geneva seal, 23 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, hinged gold cuvette engraved Fabriqué spécialement pour Mr. Juan Vicente Gómez hijo, silvered dial, applied gold Breguet numerals, outer Arabic railway five minute divisions, two horizontally positioned subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 30 minutes register, circular case, hinged back, chronograph mechanism operated through the crown, later 18K gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, cuvette and movement signed and numbered, dial signed
    35 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 Breguet numerals in 1929 and its subsequent sale on 27 July 1934.

    This single button chronograph is one of the most interesting examples of Patek Philippe's early production of complex and complicated wristwatches. Its rarity and exclusivity reside in the extraordinary combination of the remarkably large case and the unusual dial design.

    In fact, the very first single button chronograph wristwatches by Patek Philippe were housed in the typical 1920s tonneau cases or in the well-known "Officier" style cases, featuring either wire or screw lugs. Around the mid 1930s, Patek Philippe modernized these chronographs by finishing them in the celebrated reference 130 case with snap on back. The present watch however is the perfect combination as it features a hinged back and cuvette but already the new Calatrava look. Its large diameter is most atypical for any circular single button chronograph by Patek Philippe with only one exception: number 198'246, with comparable case. The latter, its case number directly preceding the present one and with the same impressive diameter of 35 mm., was only once publicly offered: in 2000, when it caused a sensation amongst collectors and scholars as until then no comparable watch was known. It was sold to one of the world's most distinguished collectors and still today is uphold in the highest respect.

    Another exclusive feature of the present watch is the bold yet highly elegant dial design fitted with well-proportioned applied Breguet numerals, oversized subsidiary dials but no scientific scale whatsoever. This lends the watch a surprising look which can hardly be compared to any other known chronograph of Patek Philippe's pre-war production.

    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, repeaters and perpetual calendars, exclusively for prestigious firms like Patek Philippe.

    Another noteworthy particularity of the present watch is certainly the provenance: according to the engraved inscription on the cuvette, it was especially made for Mr. Juan V. Gómez hijo, presumably the son of Juan Vicente Gómez, general and president of Venezuela from 1908 until his death in 1935.

    Since its first public appearance at an 1989 auction, this watch has remained in the same private collection. The combination of the, especially considering its age, very well and most originally preserved case and the highly attractive dial render this watch a rare and early timepiece of considerable interest for any discerning collector.

    Similar examples of early single button chronograph wristwatches are described and illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 258 & 259.

    Provenance

    Especially made for Mr. Juan V. Gómez hijo, presumably the son of Juan Vicente Gómez, president of Venezuela from 1908 to 1935.