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Patek Philippe. A Fine and Rare 18k Gold Openface Pocket Watch with Breguet Numerals and Ruby Banking Pins
Patek Philippe. A Fine and Rare 18k Gold Openface Pocket Watch with Breguet Numerals and Ruby Banking Pins
Patek Philippe. A Fine and Rare 18k Gold Openface Pocket Watch with Breguet Numerals and Ruby Banking Pins
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Patek Philippe. A Fine and Rare 18k Gold Openface Pocket Watch with Breguet Numerals and Ruby Banking Pins

SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE, RETAILED BY TIFFANY & CO., MOVEMENT AND CASE NO. 171'643, MANUFACTURED IN 1912

Details
Patek Philippe. A Fine and Rare 18k Gold Openface Pocket Watch with Breguet Numerals and Ruby Banking Pins
Signed Patek Philippe, Retailed by Tiffany & Co., Movement and Case No. 171'643, Manufactured in 1912
Movement: Manual, Cal 17''', 22 jewels
Dial: Enamel, Breguet numerals, subsidiary seconds
Case: 18k gold, monogrammed hinged case back, engraved cuvette; June 9th, 1914, 45mm diam.
Signed: Case and movement signed by maker, case, dial and movement signed by retailer
Accompanied By: A Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming date of sale on April 2, 1914

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Lot Essay

Patek Philippe, No. 171643
An exceptional pocket watch of the highest quality with ruby banking pins

Patek Philippe classified its watches, in terms of quality, as quality 1, quality 2, and quality 3. The first quality was called “EXTRA”, the second “SPECIAL”. Then, there was EXTRA “EXTRA” quality. The present watch was a watch of “EXTRA” quality but was improved. The improvement was in banking pins. The pallet fork, an integral part of the watch’s escapement, hits its banking pins almost half a million times a day. A year of constant use of over 150 million hits takes a toll on banking pins. Patek Philippe, in their best of their best, used ruby inserts instead of banking pins.

Very few of these watches were made, even less are known to exist. Most of them were destined for Geneva Observatory Timing Contests. Usually, watches destined for Observatory Contests were cased in displayed nickel cases. Observatory personnel needed an easy access to the movement.

Known Patek Philippe watches with ruby banking pins:

No. 161227 went through Geneva Observatory, sold to Tiffany
No. 171643 THIS WATCH
No. 174087 went through Geneva Observatory, sold to Tiffany
No. 191016 went through Geneva Observatory, sold to Henry Graves (who also bought the most expensive watch ever sold).
No. 191830 went through Geneva Observatory (1er Prix)
No. 191833 went through Geneva Observatory
No. 197529, probably went through Geneva Observatory, sold to Tiffany

The Extract from the Archives for this watch states that the case was specially replaced for Tiffany. This was because, as was customary, the watch went to the Geneva Observatory Timing Contest in a regular case. Tiffany, which apparently prized these watches highly, wanted a special case therefore, after the watch came back from the observatory, the company provided their highest quality case with concealed hinges.

In addition to the above, the watch shows all the features of 'EXTRA' quality Patek Philippe products:

This watch is of the highest quality, all wheels and arbors are jeweled and the entire escapement is jeweled and capped to assure control not only in the side-shakes but also in the end-shakes. It is superbly adjusted to positions and to isochronism, meaning that it will keep the same time regardless of the state of winding - if wound up and runs with all the spring’s strength it will keep the same rate as if wound down and is ran by the remnants of the spring’s torque. It has temperature compensating balance with gold adjustment screws assuring that it will keep time regardless of the variations in the temperature. The plate and the bridges are made of Maillechort, an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc with good machinability, low oxidation, and high durability developed in 1819 and used for some of the best watches, including the most complicated Patek Philippe watches of the time such as the famous Graves watch, as well as the Packard. The adjustment of watches made to the highest standard varies within a few seconds per week. Therefore, a standard regulator is not enough. Patek Philippe employed here a micrometric regulator, patented in 1867 by George P. Reed. The winding wheels are of so called wolf-shape which are of higher robustness assuring centuries of smooth windings.

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