• Important Watches auction at Christies

    Sale 2610

    Important Watches

    14 December 2012, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 66

    Patek Philippe. A Fine and Unique Gilt Brass Solar-Powered Desk Clock with Cloisonné Sail Boat Motif and Original Presentation Box


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. A Fine and Unique Gilt Brass Solar-Powered Desk Clock with Cloisonné Sail Boat Motif and Original Presentation Box
    Signed Patek Philippe, Geneva, Pendulette Dome Model, Barque et le Salève, Ref. 1328, Movement No. 1'803'814, Case No. 31'498, Manufactured in 1988
    Photo-electric cell lithium battery, white matte dial, brushed gilt chapter ring with Roman numerals, gilt and black skeletonized hands, all set within gilt and cloisonné enamel panels with limb and leaf motif, cylindrical case with polychrome cloisonné enamel panels depicting idyllic lake scene in the foreground, snowy Salève mountainscape in the background, dock with sailboat, another sailboat on the lake, pair of swans on the shore, polychrome enamel sailboat with waves, solar panel set in to the domed revolving top with blue, bluegreen, white and brown cloisonné enamel boating motif, all on three fluted feet, dial and movement signed, case numbered
    21.5cm high

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    With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present clock with Barques et le Salève scene in 1988 and its subsequent sale in the same year. Further accompanied by an original Patek Philippe presentation box.

    Patek Philippe opened its Electronic Division in 1948 with the goal of exploring photoelectric, electronic, and nuclear timekeeping. The department produced the groundbreaking solar clock, the first of its kind. In 1955, the solar-powered photoelectric clocks were exhibited at the 1955 World Symposium, and displayed at the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts. In the 1960's, Patek Philippe began using quartz technology in its clock production, and began phasing out the use of solar versions. These "Dome" clocks are highly collectable, and often feature a unique and individually decorated case, featuring cloisonné enamel scenes.

    Towards the end of the 1940's, the Swiss watchmaking industry began using the technique of cloisonné enamel. This technique uses fine bands (filaments) of gold or copper to outline the design subject, which are then soldered to the surface of a plate. The empty spaces are then filled with ground enamel and fired multiple times so that the surface becomes perfectly level.

    The cloisonné enamel scene on the present clock features Barques et le Salève, or "small boats and the Salève , a famous mountain of the French Prealps, also called the "Balcony of Geneva". Geographically, it is located in the Haute-Savoie, in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France, and borders both Switzerland and Italy. The Salève offers magnificent panorama views over Lake Geneva, also called Lake Léman, and is a popular vacation spot for those who enjoy nautical activies such as yacht racing and sailing.