Consigned by its original owner, an important Japanese private collector, the present watch has never been offered in public before. With its excellent overall condition, the highly appealing enamel scene and the presence of the original accessories it represents a superb trophy for collectors of rare timepieces and old masters alike.
The enamel miniature on the present watch depicts “The Milkmaid” by Johannes Vermeer, c1660, today in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It is signed by Mrs. Suzanne Rohr, one of the last artists able to perpetuate the supremely exacting art of miniature painting on enamel. Mrs. Rohr, who celebrated 40 years of collaboration with Patek Philippe in 2007, reserves her talent for the company. In her hands, the secret alchemy of the coloured enamels offers a second life of unequalled depth and finesse to some of the world's greatest art treasures.
Other examples of openface dress watches decorated with enamel miniatures signed Suzanne Rohr are illustrated in Patek Philippe Pocketwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, p. 168. A wide selection of Patek Philippe’s enameled pocketwatches are on permanent exhibition at the prestigious Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, section "Enamelled and engraved pocket watches (1960-2000)", and illustrated in Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe Watches, Vol. II, pp. 368 – 381.
Johannes Vermeer (Delft 1632 – 1675)
The Dutch artist is renowned for his paintings considered among the most revered works in the history of art. Although only less than 40 of his paintings have survived, today cherished treasures of the world’s most important museums. Vermeer is most famous for his later work, depicting scenes of daily life in interior settings, remarkable for their purity of light and form, conveying a serene, timeless sense of dignity.
The Milkmaid, Johannes Vermeer, c1660, oil on canvas, 45.5 x 41 cm.
A maidservant pours milk, entirely absorbed in her work. Except for the stream of milk, everything else is still. Vermeer took this simple everyday activity and made it the subject of an impressive painting – the woman stands like a statue in the brightly lit room. Vermeer also had an eye for how light by means of hundreds of colourful dots plays over the surface of objects.