• Sale 1391

    Important Watches, including A Gentleman's Pursuit for Excellence, Part I

    12 November 2012, Geneva

  • Lot 86

    Patek Philippe. A fine and very rare large 18K gold dual time zone wristwatch with champagne dial and bracelet

    SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE, GENÈVE, CALATRAVA MODEL, REF. 2597, MOVEMENT NO. 739'726, CASE NO. 311'343, MANUFACTURED IN 1963

    Price Realised  

    Patek Philippe. A fine and very rare large 18K gold dual time zone wristwatch with champagne dial and bracelet
    Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, Calatrava model, ref. 2597, movement no. 739'726, case no. 311'343, manufactured in 1963
    Cal. 27 HS 400 mechanical movement stamped twice with the seal of Geneva, 18 jewels, champagne brushed dial, applied gold baton numerals, gold dauphine hands, subsidiary seconds, circular case, two buttons in the band to advance or set back the independently adjustable jumping hour hand to display another time zone, snap on back, 18K gold Lane Crawford textured brick link bracelet and clasp stamped H/6712A, case, dial and movement signed
    35 mm. diam.


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    With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1963 and its subsequent sale on 6 December 1963.

    The present Travel Time reference 2597 stands out by its highly unusual sunburst-finish champagne-colored dial and it's virtually unused condition. The signature and five seconds interval markings for the subsidiary seconds are of beautiful and properly raised black hard enamel. The case proportions are very crisp and most likely the watch had never been polished since new. It appears that it was originally sold through Lane Crawford, the renowned Hong Kong jewelers and retailers who supplied the gold bracelet for this watch. The overall package this watch offers to its future owner is of exceptional rarity, great looks, good wearability and very attractive value at the current market price.

    Reference 2597
    Reference 2597 with calibre 12'''400 HS for heures sautantes or jumping hours was launched in 1958. This highly ingenious system was patented by Patek Philippe in 1959, Swiss Patent 340191 for a "Time Zone Watch". The model was made in two versions, the first, such as the present watch, features an independently adjustable hour hand whereas the second includes an additional hour hand.

    With the arrival of transatlantic flights with jet aircrafts in the 1950s, the need for a watch showing both local and home time increased. Various attempts were made but none could compete with Louis Cottier's elegant solution developed for Patek Philippe. The main problem was the setting of the hours independently of the minutes, allowing travellers the easy and quick adjustment the hour indication to their local time zone without losing the correct time in minutes.

    Cottier's design enabled the moving of the cannon pinion and consequently the hour hand in 12 steps around a 12-pointed star-wheel driven by the motion work. By pushing the two correction buttons in the band, the position of the hand can be changed in either direction by exactly one hour while maintaining its correct relationship to the minute hand.

    This patented wheel train is today the basis of Patek Philippe's new Travel Time watch, Ref. 5034, launched in 1997.

    Examples of both versions of reference 2597 are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 238 & 239.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Pre-Lot Text

    A GENTLEMAN'S PURSUIT FOR EXCELLENCE, PART I

    When one becomes active as collector in a field which is new then logically literature is not available, museums do not exists and international auction houses do not yet offer this type of object in their auction. So, an "ice breaker" has the advantage of being first to what may become later a world-wide market with a huge audience. However, there are disadvantages too: all is down to one's personal research, study at home, instinct and, in many instances, vision and courage. And given the lacking scholarship, errors may occur too, hopefully not too often though

    When a collector enters a well-established collecting field, he has the advantage that scholarship is at an advanced level, market prices are established, information is more easily available, and one can benefit from all the knowledge which has been built during several decades. The disadvantages are that there is international and often fierce competition for the best objects, and the true trophies become rarer and rarer. As a consequence, prices for the best quality masterpieces may be rising constantly due to the increasing demand of new collectors.

    The collector of the present collection, "A Gentleman's pursuit of Excellence" belongs to the latter group, having discovered his passion for rare vintage watches only after the millennium.
    From the very first day his main selecting criteria was that only vintage complicated wristwatches and pocket watches by Patek Philippe should qualify for the collection. The focus should lie on the firm's greatest classics, ranging from the 1930's to 1980's production. The pocket watches should feature functions which do not per se exist in wristwatches of this very period in order to be complementary. Most importantly, originality and condition were never to be compromised and only the best preserved examples were ever considered for this collection. Ideally, watches which meet all of the above requirements should also retain original boxes and certificates and a particular attention was paid to rare dial versions.

    The following typologies and functions are represented: chronographs, including single-button and split-seconds, perpetual calendars, perpetual calendars with chronographs, minute repeaters, world time and travel time to name the most important.

    For the pocket watch selection, the main focus was to feature the most prominent representatives made after 1930's and it goes without saying that the same parameters set for the wristwatches were also applicable for this category.

    The result is a compact, but highly intense collection of the world's most beautiful and rare Patek Philippe wristwatches, composed of only the finest examples of each type and reference. Christie's is honored to have been entrusted with the sale of this superb "triple AAA" collection.

    Please note that Part II and Part III of this collection will be auctioned at Christie's Geneva in May and November 2013.