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Patek Philippe. A very fine and rare platinum self-winding waterproof wristwatch with bracelet
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN 
Patek Philippe. A very fine and rare platinum self-winding waterproof wristwatch with bracelet

SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE, GENEVE, RETAILED BY CARTIER, MOVEMENT NO. 763'856, CASE NO. 695'341, REF. 2552, CARTIER REFERENCE NO. 6541, MANUFACTURED IN 1956

Details
Patek Philippe. A very fine and rare platinum self-winding waterproof wristwatch with bracelet
Signed Patek Philippe, Geneve, retailed by Cartier, movement no. 763'856, case no. 695'341, ref. 2552, Cartier reference no. 6541, manufactured in 1956
Cal. 12-600 AT nickel-finished lever movement stamped twice with the Geneva seal, 30 jewels, engine-turned 18K gold rotor, Gyromax balance, free sprung regulator, the silvered matte dial with applied baton numerals, silvered dauphine hands, subsidiary seconds, in circular water-resistant-type case with raised bezel, downturned lugs, screw back, platinum Cartier link bracelet and deployant clasp, case, dial and movement signed by maker, hand-stamped Cartier reference number underneath the upper left lug
36 mm. diam.

Lot Essay

Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1956 and its subsequent sale on 31 October 1958. Furthermore delivered with two copies of Cartier New York Estimate for Insurance letters dated September 18, 1959 and April 19, 1999.

The present watch is one of the ultimately noble "time only" wristwatches: it was made by Patek Philippe, one of the world's most dignified manufacturers, retailed by Cartier, possibly the world's most aristocratic jewellers, cased in platinum, widely acknowledged as the most precious metal and in addition fitted with the most royal of all self-winding movements, the caliber 12-600.

The platinum reference 2552 offered here for sale is one of only five examples known to have appeared in public. It has remained in the same ownership for over 40 years - the two insurance valuations from Cartier New York dating 1959 and 1999 are addressed to the same person. This exceptional provenance is very much reflected by the outstanding condition of the present watch, showing especially in the case which appears to have never been polished.

Patek Philippe
Since its foundation in 1839, Patek Philippe always stood for quality, craftsmanship, precision and style. It is to no surprise that this great firm's history is intimately interwoven with the lives of Kings and Queens, statesmen, celebrated businessmen, successful scientists and famous artists. Patek Philippe's clientele has included Queen Victoria and King Umberto II, James Ward Packard and Henry Graves Jr., Marie Curie and Albert Einstein, Richard Wagner and Duke Ellington.

Cartier
The name Cartier, founded by Louis-Franôis Cartier in Paris in 1847, has always been a synonym for elegance and beauty. It was also Louis Cartier who, in the early 1900s, was the first jeweler to create platinum jewellery which he used in his "Garland" creations and to enhance the brilliance of diamonds. Cartier's unrivaled skill in working with platinum contributed to its reputation of "the Jeweller of Kings and the King of Jewellers".

Platinum
The popularity of platinum, the "King of Metals and Metal of Kings", begins in ancient times and continues throughout time until today.

Revered by the ancient Egyptian and South American civilizations hundreds of years before Jesus Christ, it reached Europe in the 18th century and was immediately the metal of choice of Kings and Nobility. From the turn of the 19th century through to the Edwardian Era, Art Deco period and until the 1930s, platinum dominated the world of jewellery. During World War II its triumphal procession came to a halt; platinum was declared a strategic metal and banned from all non-military use.

Since these dark days, the popularity of platinum has never ceased. With its unique white luster, the rarest of all precious metals has always been the favorite of many collectors.

Caliber 12-600 AT
Caliber 12-600 was Patek Philippe's first automatic movement and was truly state of the art when launched in 1953. It was granted Swiss patent no. 289758 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".
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