Overview

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Patek Philippe. A very fine and rare 18K gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, moon phases, screw back and box

SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE, GENÈVE, REF. 2438/1, MOVEMENT NO. 888'105, CASE NO. 687'970, MANUFACTURED IN 1954

Details
Patek Philippe. A very fine and rare 18K gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, moon phases, screw back and box
Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, ref. 2438/1, movement no. 888'105, case no. 687'970, manufactured in 1954
Cal. 27 SC Q nickel-finished lever movement stamped twice with the Geneva seal, 18 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, micrometer regulator, silvered matte dial, applied gold baton numerals, gold dauphine hands, outer Arabic five minute divisions, sweep centre seconds, two windows for day and month, subsidiary dial for moon phases and date, large circular water-resistant-type case, downturned fluted lugs, screw back with engraved inscription Antenor Patiño Jr. Love Mother 1958, 18K gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed
37 mm. diam.
Provenance
1958 - 1973: Antenor Patiño Jr.
1973 - 1974: Francesca Turner
1974 - present day: current owner, an intimate school friend of Antenor Patiño Jr.

Antenor Patiño Jr.
The present watch was offered to Antenor Patiño Jr. by his mother in 1958.

Antenor Patiño Jr. (14 April 1948 - 26 December 1973) was the son of the Bolivian tin magnate Antenor Patiño (1896 - 1982), himself heir to his father Simon I. Patiño, Bolivian industrialist called "the King of Tin", who was amongst the world's wealthiest men at the time of his death. With a fortune built from ownership of a majority of the tin industry in Bolivia, Patiño was also nicknamed "The Andean Rockefeller".

His mother, Francesca Turner (1917-1999), born in Texas, was a renowned top model and actress appear for example on Broadway at the Grand Opera House in "Hold On To Your Hats," the Al Jolson musical comedy or in George Jessel's show "High Kickers" in Hollywood. She was a member of the Actors Guild, the Writers Guild of America and was also a staff writer in the Special Projects unit at Universal Studios. Because of her stunning beauty and successful modeling career, Francesca became a social celebrity and newspapers often reported her activities.

Antenor Patiño Jr. was a brilliant young man of bright spirit, full of charm, personality and sensibility. His studies brought him to France, Switzerland, Great Britain and finally California where he studied law at the University of Hastings. His interests were multiple: international law, politics, history, sports (mainly tennis and swimming), languages (he spoke four languages) and writing (he was a script writer at the Universal studios in Hollywood). He died prematurely in a tragic automobile accident in December 1973 at the age of 25.

One year later his mother founded the Tony Patiño Fellowship in memory of her son. Antenor's often expressed wish and intention was to help his fellow students cope with the challenge of the law school experience. The purpose of this Fellowship is to provide merit awards to qualifying students at Hastings, Chicago and Columbia Law Schools. The Fellowship seeks to identify law students who will become leaders, people of character and capability who will use their law degrees to serve others and provide them with support, guidance and encouragement.
Special Notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

Brought to you by

Dr. Nathalie Monbaron
Dr. Nathalie Monbaron

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Lot Essay

With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1954 and its subsequent sale on 23 June 1958. Furthermore delivered with copy of Patek Philippe servicing invoice and Patek Philippe contemporary red presentation box.

This watch is amongst the finest examples of the celebrated reference 2438/1 to appear at auction for some time but certainly the one with the most interesting history. Of totally private provenance, both owners since the watch's original sale in 1958 have always and exclusively chosen Patek Philippe's workshops in Geneva to overhaul this masterpiece. In fact, the current owner has just spent over CHF 5,000 to professionally clean and service this reference 2438/1. Much to any connoisseurs delight, the case was hardly ever touched and retains distinct proportions and well preserved details, most notably the lovely fluting to the lugs and the crisp hallmarks to the tip of the lower right lug and upper left band. The highly appealing original dial shows a great shine, the hard enamel signature and outer seconds scale are still beautifully raised.

Never offered before at auction, the present reference 2438/1 is a indeed a rare specimen of a niche reference.

The above elements combined with the very small number of watches produced of this reference render this watch an exceedingly rare opportunity for any demanding connoisseur collector.

Ref. 2438/1
In 1951, Patek Philippe launched reference 2497 (see lot 297 in this auction) and its water-resistant counterpart, reference 2438/1, the firm's only vintage perpetual calendar wristwatch made in series with a screw back. A combined total of only 179 examples of these two models were produced, the majority cased in yellow gold. Reference 2438/1 is generally divided into two different series:

- the first with applied Arabic numerals and dauphine hands
- the second series, such as the present watch, with applied baton numerals and dauphine hands

Reference 2438/1 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 284.

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