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Audemars Piguet. An extremely rare and attractive stainless steel and 14K pink gold full calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and two-tone silvered dial
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more VARIOUS PROPERTIES
Audemars Piguet. An extremely rare and attractive stainless steel and 14K pink gold full calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and two-tone silvered dial

SIGNED AUDEMARS PIGUET & CO., GENÈVE, REF. 5503, NO. 46'538, MANUFACTURED IN 1942

Details
Audemars Piguet. An extremely rare and attractive stainless steel and 14K pink gold full calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and two-tone silvered dial
Signed Audemars Piguet & Co., Genève, Ref. 5503, No. 46'538, manufactured in 1942
Cal. 13''' 13VZA nickel-finished lever movement, 19 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, two-tone silvered dial, applied pink gold square-shaped numerals, outer blue tachymetre scale calibrated for miles, three subsidiary dials for date, day and constant seconds, 30 minutes register and month, aperture for moon phases and lunar calendar, circular stainless steel case, teardrop lugs, snap on back, 14K pink gold bezel, pink gold crown, two oval-shaped pink gold chronograph buttons in the band, case, dial and movement signed
36 mm. diam.
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.
On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

Condition report

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Lot Essay

According to the Archives of Audemars Piguet, the present watch with movement and case no. 46'538 and calibre 13VZA was produced in 1942 and sold in 1945 to Roehrich, Audemars Piguet's distributor in the US at the time.

Offered for the first time in public the present reference 5503 is unquestionably one of Audemars Piguet's most attractive and also rarest full calendar chronograph wristwatches known to exist to date.

With a for the period comparatively large size of 36 mm., it exemplifies the perfect combination of mechanical complexity and visually attractive design. The Valjoux based 13''' movement is part of a small series of approximately only 21 examples of calibre 13VZA featuring a chronograph and full calendar produced by Audemars Piguet between 1941 and 1943 and sold between 1942 and 1959. The stainless steel case with the highly elegant teardrop lugs, highlighted by the pink gold bezel, chronograph pushers and crown, is preserved in extraordinary condition, leading to the conclusion that the watch has hardly been used - an assumption underlined by the crispness of the punched serial number to the outside back, particularly sensible to regular wear or polishing. The superb two-tone silvered dial with blue tachymetre scale calibrated for miles has never been cosmetically enhanced and displays a great shine, further enhancing the incredible appeal of this extraordinary watch.

Freshness to the market, outstanding original and crisp condition and the extreme rarity render this trophy a must have for the collector of elite 20th century timepieces.

Reference 5503
According to the Archives of Audemars Piguet, an extremely small series of only five examples of this model were made, all in 1942 and sold between 1945 and 1959, all originally fitted with stainless steel and gold cases. Prior to the introduction of reference numbers at Audemars Piguet, only numbered archival images existed, the models illustrated considered "pre-models". The present reference 5503 is a perfect example for this evolution: it was produced in 1942 and sold in 1945, the firm's archives mention image 1534, showing a similar model from the series, which was renamed 5503 in 1951.

This reference 5503 is believed to be the fourth example of this ultra-rare chronograph to appear in public to date, all presenting variations in regard to the dial layout:

- No. 45'980, the first from the series: silvered dial, applied gold Arabic numerals, outer tachymetre scale calibrated for 60 kmh and printed in black. Today in Audemars Piguet's Heritage Collection. Illustrated in Audemars Piguet by Gisbert Brunner, Christian Pfeiffer-Belli & Martin K. Wehrli, p. 246, pl. 343a & b, and in Audemars Piguet - Le Maître de l'Horlogerie depuis 1875, Flammarion, 2011, p. 161.

- No. 45'983: three-tone dial, applied pink gold Arabic numerals. Today in Audemars Piguet's Heritage Collection.

- No. 46'583, the present watch: two-tone silvered dial, applied pink gold square-shaped numerals, outer blue tachymetre scale calibrated for miles.

- No. 46'931: silvered dial, applied gold Arabic numerals, outer blue tachymetre scale. Sold in this saleroom on 12 May 2008, lot 274. Illustrated and described in The Marcus Audemars Piguet Collection, p. 70 - 71.

For a detailed description of reference 5503 and calibre 13VZA see Audemars Piguet Calendar Wristwatches 1924 - 1993 by Sébastian Vivas and Michael L. Friedman.

We are indebted to Mr. Sébastian Vivas, Heritage & Museum Director, Audemars Piguet, for his valuable help in researching the present watch.

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