Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and possibly unique 18K pink gold oversized rectangular hinged wristwatch with Arabic numerals
Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and possibly unique 18K pink gold oversized rectangular hinged wristwatch with Arabic numerals


Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and possibly unique 18K pink gold oversized rectangular hinged wristwatch with Arabic numerals
Signed Patek Philippe & Co., Genève, Chronometro Gondolo, movement no. 175'623, case no. 608'832, manufactured in 1913
Cal. 12''' circular mechanical movement, gold wheels, bimetallic compensation balance, wolf's tooth winding, cam precision regulator, silvered matte dial, large black enamel Arabic numerals, outer Railway minute divisions, oversized rectangular curved case, hinged back, straight wire lugs, case, dial and movement signed
40 mm. length

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Lot Essay

With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1913 and its subsequent sale on 7 July 1928. The Extract furthermore states that the original case was replaced by the present 18K pink gold case, number 608'832, during a servicing in 1929.

Doubtlessly amongst Patek Philippe's most celebrated 20th century designs, the "Gondolo" models were available in different sizes. The present specimen is from the largest series with an impressive length of 40 mm. or 48 mm. including the lugs.

In addition to being the only example of the large "Gondolo" cased in pink gold known to exist, this watch is furthermore the only example of the legendary model featuring the charismatic and much sought-after Breguet numerals to appear in public to date, all case materials combined. The combination of these two unique features and the fact that it is one of the best preserved specimens of this landmark model to be offered in public in recent years render the present "Gondolo" a most exclusive collector's trophy.

In the late 1910s and early 1920s, Patek Philippe produced an exceedingly small series of these oversized wristwatches, often for their celebrated Brazilian retailer Gondolo & Labouriau Relojoeiros in Rio de Janeiro. Available with different dial styles, so far only 12 other "Gondolo" watches have appeared in public, however all with either tumbling or straight Arabic numerals.

Few watches resonate so wonderfully the roaring twenties and the unique South American lifestyle like the oversized "Gondolos". Not only are they of noteworthy significance in Patek Philippe's history in the South American market but they are visually amongst the most captivating designs ever given to a watch. It is therefore by hardly any surprise that even today, nearly a century later, many firms take their inspiration from this revolutionary look. Despite being of the very first generation of wristwatches, they are as contemporary still today as they were during the early 20th century. Wearers of these watches will undoubtedly confirm that no other watch captures more the attention of the environment and invites more easily to animated conversations and generous compliments.

Gondolo & Labouriau and Chronometro Gondolo
The Brazilian firm of Gondolo & Labouriau was Patek Philippe's chosen retailer in Rio de Janeiro from 1872 until 1927. During this period, Patek Philippe made not only the well-known "Chronometro Gondolo" pocket watches, available in several sizes, but also a very small quantity of amazingly avant garde design wristwatches. In order to be awarded with the distinguished "Chronometro Gondolo" designation, the movements for these watches had to fulfil the following four criteria: a cam wheel regulator, allowing very precise but practical adjustment of the watch, "moustache"-shaped lever, wolf's tooth winding and gold wheels for the wheel train.

An example of the large Gondolo model featuring "explosion" Breguet numerals is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 107, pl. 119.

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