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Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, important and probably unique silver and cloisonné enamel eight day World Time desk timepiece, the cloisonné enamel dial depicting Mexico
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Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, important and probably unique silver and cloisonné enamel eight day World Time desk timepiece, the cloisonné enamel dial depicting Mexico

SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE, GENÈVE, MOVEMENT NO. 183'425, CASE NO. 668'986, REF. 828, MOVEMENT MANUFACTURED IN 1922 AND ENCASED IN 1952

Details
Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, important and probably unique silver and cloisonné enamel eight day World Time desk timepiece, the cloisonné enamel dial depicting Mexico
Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, movement no. 183'425, case no. 668'986, ref. 828, movement manufactured in 1922 and encased in 1952
Cal. 21''' World Time gilt-finished jewelled eight day lever movement, large bimetallic compensation balance, cam-wheel regulator, the polychrome cloisonné enamel dial depicting a map of Mexico framed by the southern parts of the United States and the northern part of Guatemala, a red dot indicating Mexico City, gold dauphine hands, outer gilt ring with baton five minute divisions, recessed revolving silvered and black ring for the diurnal and nocturnal 24 hour indication separated by a stylised moon, outer silvered revolving ring with the engraved names of 30 world cities and locations, the domed case with polychrome enamel scene depicting the northern hemisphere as seen from Mexico with a stylised factory with smoking flue indicating the location of Cananea, divided by white cloisonné enamel symbols of a canoe, a fish, mountain and a pagoda, all on an octagonal silver base and eight ball-shaped feet, the movement wound and hands set through the base, a sliding cover protecting the winding and setting holes, case, dial and movement signed
122 mm. wide

Lot Essay

Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming that the movement of the present table clock was produced in 1922, encased in the silver case with cloisonné enamel motif "Mexico" in 1952 and its subsequent sale on 5 January 1953. Furthermore delivered with the original fitted brown leather presentation box and key.

The present desk timepiece is a huge sensation to the world of watch and clock collectors as this reference has not been offered at auction or shown in public before, nor has it even been mentioned or illustrated in literature.

Since the late 19th century, when society enjoyed a continuously increasing mobility, watchmakers were challenged to invent new mechanisms to reflect the fact that the globe is divided up into 24 time zones, each representing 15 degrees of longitude starting from the Greenwich Meridian. To make use of this feature, the bezel is first rotated so that a location in the same time zone as the clock is at 12 o'clock. When the local time is set on the main dial, the outer day/night ring can be used to tell the time at any of the locations engraved on the bezel. This ingenious mechanism has been invented and patented by Louis Cottier, a celebrated watchmaker from Geneva who has worked closely with Patek Philippe for over 30 years.

Reference 828 takes a unique position in Patek Philippe's production of timekeepers with world-time function, usually reserved for either pocketwatches or wristwatches. It can be considered a masterpiece thanks to its incredible combination of technical and esthetical features. Research indicates that three, possibly four examples of this reference have been made - all unique as each with a different enamel decoration on case and dial. Archive images of two further references 828 have been made available for this catalogue entry. The first one showing the case decorated with continents of the northern hemisphere and stylised symbols of major sites (fig. 1), the other one similarly decorated like the present one, also highlighting Mexico, but with varied details (fig. 2). None the two other reference 828 shown here have been shown publicly, in fact, their whereabouts are unknown.

However, two different table clocks by Patek Philippe incorporating this unusual mechanism are publicly recorded; both are on permanent exhibition in fine Swiss museums, namely the Beyer Museum of Time Measurement in Zurich and the prestigious Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.

We are indebted to Dr. Helmut Crott and Mr. Shamir Deen for their valuable help in researching this lot.
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