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PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT, HISTORIC AND UNIQUE 18K PINK GOLD OPENFACE MINUTE REPEATING TWO TRAIN GRANDE AND PETITE SONNERIE KEYLESS LEVER CLOCKWATCH WITH INSTANTANEOUS PERPETUAL CALENDAR, INDICATIONS FOR JULIAN AND GREGORIAN CALENDARS, MOON PHASES AND CHRONOGRAPH WITH CENTRAL 60-MINUTE RECORDER, MADE FOR JEAN DE GRADOWSKI
PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT, HISTORIC AND UNIQUE 18K PINK GOLD OPENFACE MINUTE REPEATING TWO TRAIN GRANDE AND PETITE SONNERIE KEYLESS LEVER CLOCKWATCH WITH INSTANTANEOUS PERPETUAL CALENDAR, INDICATIONS FOR JULIAN AND GREGORIAN CALENDARS, MOON PHASES AND CHRONOGRAPH WITH CENTRAL 60-MINUTE RECORDER, MADE FOR JEAN DE GRADOWSKI
PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT, HISTORIC AND UNIQUE 18K PINK GOLD OPENFACE MINUTE REPEATING TWO TRAIN GRANDE AND PETITE SONNERIE KEYLESS LEVER CLOCKWATCH WITH INSTANTANEOUS PERPETUAL CALENDAR, INDICATIONS FOR JULIAN AND GREGORIAN CALENDARS, MOON PHASES AND CHRONOGRAPH WITH CENTRAL 60-MINUTE RECORDER, MADE FOR JEAN DE GRADOWSKI
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PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT, HISTORIC AND UNIQUE 18K PINK GOLD OPENFACE MINUTE REPEATING TWO TRAIN GRANDE AND PETITE SONNERIE KEYLESS LEVER CLOCKWATCH WITH INSTANTANEOUS PERPETUAL CALENDAR, INDICATIONS FOR JULIAN AND GREGORIAN CALENDARS, MOON PHASES AND CHRONOGRAPH WITH CENTRAL 60-MINUTE RECORDER, MADE FOR JEAN DE GRADOWSKI
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The Unique ‘Gradowski’ Grande Complication – Patek Philippe’s Earliest Grande Complication Watch“Grand complication watches rank among the most extraordinary achievements in horological history. They must possess at least three complications, each from one of the three major types of complication: astronomical functions (calendar); striking; and the division of time (chronograph).” - Patek Philippe 2013
PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT, HISTORIC AND UNIQUE 18K PINK GOLD OPENFACE MINUTE REPEATING TWO TRAIN GRANDE AND PETITE SONNERIE KEYLESS LEVER CLOCKWATCH WITH INSTANTANEOUS PERPETUAL CALENDAR, INDICATIONS FOR JULIAN AND GREGORIAN CALENDARS, MOON PHASES AND CHRONOGRAPH WITH CENTRAL 60-MINUTE RECORDER, MADE FOR JEAN DE GRADOWSKI

MANUFACTURED IN 1890

Details
PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT, HISTORIC AND UNIQUE 18K PINK GOLD OPENFACE MINUTE REPEATING TWO TRAIN GRANDE AND PETITE SONNERIE KEYLESS LEVER CLOCKWATCH WITH INSTANTANEOUS PERPETUAL CALENDAR, INDICATIONS FOR JULIAN AND GREGORIAN CALENDARS, MOON PHASES AND CHRONOGRAPH WITH CENTRAL 60-MINUTE RECORDER, MADE FOR JEAN DE GRADOWSKI
MANUFACTURED IN 1890
Movement: Cal. 19''', manual, two-train, tandem winding, 38 jewels, striking and repeating on gongs, signed
Dial: White enamel, indications for the Gregorian and Julian date, moon phases, signed
Case: Four-body, guilloché back with the engraved coat of arms of Gradowski, reeded band, gold hinged cuvette, bolts in the band for Grande or Petite Sonnerie selection, strike/silent, small pin at 3 o’clock for adjusting the Julian calendar, chronograph locking bolt, 54 mm. diam., signed
With: Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with chronograph counter at the centre, triple perpetual calendar, mechanism of Grande and Petite sonnerie, guilloché case back with engraved coat of arms in 1890 and its subsequent sale on 25th November 1890

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Alexandre Bigler
Alexandre Bigler Watches & Wristwatches

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Lot Essay

At the time it was made, this extraordinary horological masterwork was the most complicated watch that Patek Philippe had ever produced. As such, it is of immense significance and historical importance. Indeed, it was not until over forty years later in 1932, that the company made a more complicated watch – the world-famous Henry Graves Supercomplication.
The appearance of an almost certainly unique, specially commissioned Patek Philippe ‘Grand Complication’ watch at auction is, even today, a landmark event, creating a frisson of excitement amongst both watch collectors and those who pursue the very best world-class works of art. It is therefore extremely exciting that Christie’s is able to present to international collectors Patek Phillipe’s earliest ‘Grande Complication’ watch. Having remained in the family of the original owner until sold in the 1990s, this historic masterpiece has, for the past almost 20 years, been a highlight of one of the world’s great collections.

Not only is the present watch one of Patek Philippe’s most extraordinary technical triumphs, it is also the only known Patek Philippe watch to combine these particular complications. Between 1889 with the patent of the perpetual calendar mechanism and 1904, Patek Philippe patented many mechanisms used in its watch movements. This was an extremely important period in the company’s history when its reputation as the maker of the finest, most complicated, functional and attractive watches in the world was becoming firmly established. Their early mastery of the ‘Grande Complication’ is exemplified by the present watch. Patek Philippe began to produce clockwatches without other complications as early as 1845. Twenty five years later, in 1870, watch no. 27'210 with sonnerie striking and perpetual calendar was made (now in the Patek Philippe Museum). From 1870 until the manufacture of the present watch in 1890, no other ultra-complicated watches were made by Patek Philippe. The next ‘Grande Complication’ watch to be made was no. 97’912, in 1898, sold to Stephen S. Palmer in 1900. The Stephen S. Palmer ‘Grande Complication’ was sold by Christie’s in June 2013 for $2.25 million dollars.
The present watch is of greater complication than the ‘standard’ Grande Complication watches with two highly unusual functions: a calendar function enabling both the Gregorian and Julian calendars to be indicated simultaneously; a central 60-minute register hand for the chronograph. Both of these functions are extremely rare in any Patek Philippe watch and exceptional in a Grand Complication watch of such early date. This watch was evidently made especially for the Gradowski family whose coat of arms is engraved on the caseback and confirmed by the Extract from the Archives. The inclusion of the Julian calendar indication suggests that the original Polish owner of the watch was perhaps either living in or regularly visiting Russia where the Julian calendar continued to be used until 1918. Mr. Gradowski would therefore have been able to immediately see the date in both calendar systems.
The Julian calendar became the predominant calendar in the Roman Empire and subsequently most of the Western World for more than 1,600 years until 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII made a minor modification to reduce the length of the average year from 365.25 days to 365.2425 days and thus corrected the Julian calendar's drift against the solar year. Worldwide adoption of this revised calendar, which became known as the Gregorian calendar, took place over the subsequent centuries, first in Catholic countries, and subsequently in Protestant countries of the Western Christian world. The Julian calendar has two types of years: a normal year of 365 days and a leap year of 366 days. They follow a simple cycle of three normal years and one leap year, giving an average year that is 365.25 days long. That is more than the actual solar year value of 365.24219 days, which means the Julian calendar gains a day every 128 years.
We are grateful to Eric Tortella for his assistance and study in researching this watch.
Jean de Gradowski
The noble Polish family of Gradowski originated from Gradow, near Sochaczew, in central Poland. The family is first recorded in the 1500's. Marceli Gradowski, was the grandfather of the last owner of the present watch. Jean Gradowski, a wealthy gentleman was based in Warsaw, he travelled widely and resided for a number of years in Geneva. This biographical information was supplied by Michal Gradowski in 2002.

Provenance
The original owner, Jean de Gradowski, 1890.
Sold in the late 1990s to a Middle Eastern gentleman.
Antiquorum Hong Kong, 8th June 2002, lot 423 (sold 19,600,000 Hong Kong Dollars).
The present owner – an important private collection.

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