The present watch is no. 81 of the limited edition of only 100 examples of ref. 898 made to celebrate the Lucerne shooting contest in 1979.
Consigned by a private collector the watch has never been offered in public before and is in extremely well preserved condition. It is furthermore believed to be one of less than 8 examples of this model to appear at auction to date.
A similar watch, movement no. 932'892, is described and illustrated in Patek Philippe by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, p. 166, pl. 125 a, b.
The relief decoration on the covers of the present watch were made by Hans Erni (Lucerne 1909-2015), a celebrated Swiss painter and sculptor. He is particularly known for illustrating postage stamps and lithographs for the Swiss Red Cross, the Olympic Committee and others. The Hans Erni House in the Lucerne Transportation Museum contains a large collection of his work.
Wilhelm or William Tell, the legendary Swiss patriot, was according to legend a native of Uri. Gessler, the canton's Austrian bailiff, decreed that Swiss citizens must remove their hats before his hat, which he had posted on a stake in the canton's largest town. Tell refused and as punishment was ordered to shoot an apple with his crossbow off his small son's head. Although he succeeded, he was held prisoner by Gessler when he revealed that had he failed, he planned to kill Gessler with an arrow he had hidden on his person. Tell escaped and eventually shot Gessler from ambush at Küssnacht, Lucerne, thus setting off the revolt that ousted the bailiff on 1 January 1308. While there is no valid proof of Tell's existence, the legend represents a distorted account of events that resulted (in 1291) in the formation of the "Everlasting League" between the cantons of Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden. Schiller's popular drama "Wilhelm Tell" is based on the legend; Rossini's opera "William Tell" is based on Schiller's drama.