• Important Watches auction at Christies

    Sale 1383

    Important Watches

    14 November 2011, Geneva

  • Lot 409

    Patek Philippe. A very fine, rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. A very fine, rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals
    Signed Patek Philippe, Geneve, ref. 1463, movement no. 867'889, case no. 660'161, manufactured in 1950
    Cal. 13''' nickel-finished lever movement, 23 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, metal dust cap, silvered matte dial, applied steel Breguet numerals, outer Arabic five minute divisions and tachymetre scale for miles, two subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 30 minutes register, circular water-resistant-type case, screw back, downturned lugs, two round chronograph buttons in the band, stainless steel Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed

    34.5 mm. diam.

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    With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with steel Breguet hour markers and tachymetre scale in 1950 and its subsequent sale on 28 March 1951.

    Even though the notion of "sports watch" is probably an invention of the late 20th century, there is certainly some explanation if one associates the stainless steel version of reference 1463 to this term. In fact, for over half a century there hasn't been any other model by Patek Philippe better exemplifying the needs of a modern, self-confident, booming society which is enjoying outdoor activities and in particular sport during spare time. As a matter of fact, whereas the chronograph movement responds to the sportsman's needs, the beautifully sculpted water-resistant case protects it from humidity and dust. The hard steel case obviously ensures one doesn't need to see a watchmaker on a too regular basis if unintended contacts occur...

    Consequently, the steel reference 1463 takes a particularly prominent role in many of the even most spoilt collectors' dreams and is a must have in a aficionado's career. Examples with Breguet numerals are not only extraordinarily rare but in terms of looks probably the most exciting and seducing combination. Specimens, like the present, where the Extracts of Patek Philippe's Archives confirm the original Breguet numeral dial are close to impossible finds.

    The "tasti tondi", as this model is lovingly described by collectors (Italian for round pushers), is one of the best preserved examples known to us and has not been offered on the market since acquired at auction by the current owner in the late 1980s. The dial has a uniform creamy patina without flaws visible and the case proportions remain strong and solid some 60 years after its making. Interestingly, close inspection also reveals that it was originally sold in the US, confirmed by the HOX export market on the regulator bridge but also the tachometre scale calibrated for miles.

    Honest examples of reference 1463 in steel with Breguet numerals where condition and provenance are at their best are long awaited moments for many collectors. This specimen here is definitely such a moment in time.

    The model is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 267.

    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