Patek Philippe. A very fine and extremely rare 18K gold automatic wristwatch with black enamel dial
Many of the watches offered for sale in this catal… Read more PATEK PHILIPPEYellow Gold Ref. 2526 with Black Enamel Dial
Patek Philippe. A very fine and extremely rare 18K gold automatic wristwatch with black enamel dial


Patek Philippe. A very fine and extremely rare 18K gold automatic wristwatch with black enamel dial
Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, retailed by Gobbi, Milano, ref. 2526, movement no. 761'448, case no. 686’613, manufactured in 1954
Movement: cal. 12-600 AT stamped with the Geneva seal, automatic, 30 jewels, engine-turned 18K gold rotor, signed
Dial: signed by maker and retailer
Case: screw back, 35 mm. diam., signed
With: 18K gold Patek Philippe buckle, Extract from the Archives confirming the black dial with yellow gold indexes, date of manufacture in 1954 and date of subsequent sale on 30th June 1955
Special notice
Many of the watches offered for sale in this catalogue are pictured with straps made of endangered or protected animal materials such as alligator or crocodile. These endangered species straps are shown for display purposes only and are not for sale. Christie’s will remove and retain the strap prior to shipment from the sale site. At some sale sites, Christie’s may, at its discretion, make the displayed endangered species strap available to the buyer of the lot free of charge if collected in person from the sale site within 1 year of the date of the sale. Please check with the department for details on a particular lot.

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Lot Essay

With stunning good looks, a black dial confirmed by the Extract from the Archives and Gobbi Milano retailer’s signature – one of only two black dial examples known at auction with the Gobbi signature and the only one of the two examples with confirmed black dial known to date - this exciting watch can be considered as a great treasure for collectors.

Especially well preserved, it remains in excellent overall condition with true hard enamel dial, strong definition to the case and lugs and clear hallmarks on the band between the lower lugs and on the back of the upper left lug.

Among the numerous different variations of the reference 2526, the black enamel dial is the most appreciated because of its incredible rarity and unsurpassed iconic appeal. It is important to note that the present watch sports a true kiln-fired hard enamel dial complete with counter enamel on the reverse, one of the ultimate tenets of collectability for this reference. Enamel dials on any wristwatch are a very special thing, fundamentally time consuming and costly to make they can never be truly mass-made. Their essential rarity naturally adds considerably to their desirability as does the fact that enamel can last indefinitely.

Less than twenty gold cased reference 2526 with black dials have appeared at international auction, of these only a handful are confirmed by the Extract and only one other is known signed by Gobbi Milano.

Reference 2526
Reference 2526 is a legendary model in the history of watchmaking, introduced into the market in 1952. Not only is it the first automatic wristwatch by Patek Philippe, but it is also fitted with one of the best automatic movements ever designed, its performance and accuracy can be considered superior even by today's standards. The legendary calibre 12-600 AT was granted Swiss patent No. 289758 in 1953 for "a self-winding mechanism for a wristwatch movement using the energy supplied by a rotary mass causing an eccentric part to transmit a swinging movement to an organ of the mechanism".

A paragon of understatement and timeless class combined with a state-of-the art movement, reference 2526 has significantly influenced the popularity of wristwatches featuring enamel dials.

The present watch is one of the trophy pieces of the reference – regarded as a Patek Philippe classic and a true eternal beauty whose appeal is certainly likely to endure.

Examples of reference 2526 with black enamel dials are illustrated in: Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe - Volume II, p. 244, and in Patek Philippe, The Authorized Biography, Nicholas Foulkes, 2016, p. 212.

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