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Patek Philippe. An 18k Gold Split-Seconds Chronograph Openface Pocket Watch with Breguet Numerals, Property of the United States Air Service
Patek Philippe. An 18k Gold Split-Seconds Chronograph Openface Pocket Watch with Breguet Numerals, Property of the United States Air Service

SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE & CIE., MOVEMENT NO. 137'903, CASE NO. 273'025, MANUFACTURED IN 1908

Details
Patek Philippe. An 18k Gold Split-Seconds Chronograph Openface Pocket Watch with Breguet Numerals, Property of the United States Air Service
Signed Patek Philippe & Cie., Movement No. 137'903, Case No. 273'025, Manufactured in 1908
Movement: Manual, Cal. 17'''
Dial: Enamel, Breguet numerals, two subsidiary dials
Case: 18k gold, hinged cuvette, engraved hinged case back reading; U.S. GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, U.S.A.S., 46mm diam.
Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
Accompanied By: A Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming date of sale on November 8, 1918, and a reproduction of a vintage poster to recruit soldiers to join the U.S. Air Service

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Lot Essay

The present watch, dating to the early 20th century and engraved; US GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, U.S.A.S., was no doubt used in a multitude of important timed events that relied on the accuracy and dependability of a Patek Philippe split-seconds chronograph. Manufactured in 1908 and as the Extract confirms, sold in 1918, it is likely that this watch was used specifically during and after World War 1.

The United States Air Service was the aviator branch of the U.S. Army and was established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1918. This Patek Philippe was delivered to a U.S.A.S. in the first year of its existence, most likely as part of an initial order for the new unit.

During World War I, the U.S.A.S. was credited with destroying 76 enemy balloons and over 756 enemy aircraft.

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