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Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and very rare, historically important 18K gold open face two-train independent dead-beat centre seconds keyless lever watch
Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and very rare, historically important 18K gold open face two-train independent dead-beat centre seconds keyless lever watch
Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and very rare, historically important 18K gold open face two-train independent dead-beat centre seconds keyless lever watch
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Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and very rare, historically important 18K gold open face two-train independent dead-beat centre seconds keyless lever watch
7 More
On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT wil… Read more Lots 241 & 242: The Personal Watches of Jean-Adrien and Joseph Émile PhilippeJean-Adrien PhilippeOne of the most renowned figures in watchmaking history, Philippe was a French born watchmaker and cofounder of Patek Philippe & Co., in Geneva. He is particularly famous for his 1842 invention of a mechanism for watches which allowed them to be wound and set by means of an integral winding crown rather than a key. His patented invention earned him a Bronze Medal at the French Industrial Exposition of 1844. It was at the Exhibition that Jean-Adrien Philippe first met Antoine Norbert de Patek (1812-1877) and a year later he became head watchmaker at Patek & Co. in Geneva. Shrewdly, he had made an agreement that entitled him to one third of all company profits. By 1851 he was made a full partner and the company began trading as Patek Philippe & Co. In 1863 he published a book in Geneva and Paris on the workings of pocket watches titled “Les Montres sans Clef”. His other notable invention was the movement exemplified by the present watch, the independent seconds watch with two wheel trains and two barrels wound simultaneously by a single stem winding mechanism. This and the earlier keyless winding mechanism would be his enduring legacy to horology.His partner Patek died in 1877 and in 1891 the 76-year-old Adrien Philippe handed over the day-to-day running of the business to his son Joseph Émile Philippe and François Antoine Conty. Jean Adrien Philippe died on 5 January 1894 and was buried in Geneva's St-Georges Cemetery.For a detailed biography of Jean-Adrien Philippe see Patek Philippe Watches, Volume I, Patek Philippe Museum, 2013, pp. 14 & 15.PATEK PHILIPPEThe Personal Watch of Jean-Adrien Philippe, Cofounder of Patek PhilippeThe Property of a Descendant of Jean-Adrien Philippe
Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and very rare, historically important 18K pink gold open face two-train independent dead-beat centre seconds keyless lever watch

SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE & CO., GENÈVE, MOVEMENT NO. 80’050, CASE NO. 203’910, MANUFACTURED IN 1888

Details
Patek Philippe. An extremely fine and very rare, historically important 18K pink gold open face two-train independent dead-beat centre seconds keyless lever watch
Signed Patek Philippe & Co., Genève, movement no. 80’050, case no. 203’910, manufactured in 1888
Movement: cal. 19’’’, two-train with simultaneous winding, jewelled, signed
Dial: signed
Case: four-piece, engine turned hinged back engraved with foliate monogram "JAP", seconds stop button with locking slide in the band, hinged gold cuvette engraved “Jean Adrien Philippe, 5 Janvier 1894", 50 mm. diam., signed
With: Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with independent seconds, enamel dial and Roman numerals in 1888 and its subsequent sale on 31 January 1894
Provenance
Jean-Adrien Philippe (1815-1894), cofounder of Patek Philippe
Thence by family descent to the present owner


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On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 7.7% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

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Lot Essay

Offered for the first time in public, this exciting and significant discovery has been consigned by the descendants of Jean-Adrien Philippe (1815-1894), one of the legendary founders of Patek Philippe. It is doubly significant in not only being owned by Jean-Adrien Philippe himself, his son and his descendants, but it is also of great horological importance as one of the very first Patek Philippe watches constructed according to Swiss patent No. 1017 of 23 May 1889, for “independent seconds watch with two simultaneously wound barrels….and two wheel trains…”.

Jean-Adrien Philippe’s final calibre, the independent seconds watch with two wheel trains and two barrels wound simultaneously by a single stem winding mechanism took, like his stem winding and setting mechanism, several decades of research, reflection and improvement to perfect. Made in 1888 the present watch is one of the very earliest examples known and constructed before patent no. 1017 had been filed. Jean-Adrien Philippe was at the time still running the firm and it can safely be assumed that he used it regularly, possibly even to improve his independent dead centre seconds mechanism patented in 1889.

An almost identical watch, however in hunter case and with subsidiary seconds, movement number 80’048, only just preceding the present watch, is in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva (Inv. P-626). Its catalogue entry in the Museum book states “…it is probably one of the earliest ones made. A similar watch, No. 80’050, was sold on January 31, 1894, to Jean-Adrien Philippe”. Jean-Adrien Philippe passed away on 5 January 1894. It is therefore most likely that watch no. 80'050 has been formally purchased from the company by his son Joseph Émile Philippe on 31 January 1894. Being his father’s watch, he had the date engraved on the cuvette and his monogram "JAP" to the case back, as a memorial to him.

Patek Philippe's independent dead centre seconds watches are exceedingly rare, only around 60 examples of this predecessor of the chronograph were ever made, both with and without subsidiary seconds. The mechanism requires two going trains, one for the movement and one for the centre seconds hand, allowing it to be stopped without stopping the main train in order not to interfere with the accuracy of timekeeping. The invention of this mechanism is attributed to Moise Pouzait, Geneva 1776.

Jean-Adrien Philippe's independent dead seconds mechanism, Swiss patent No. 1017 of 23 May 1889, varies completely from Pouzait's design. Moving the seconds train over the center bridge created more space, thus allowing a larger balance resulting in better timekeeping.

Jean-Adrien Philippe was fascinated by mechanisms that could perform intermediate time measurements, one of the earliest Patek Philippe keyless watches with two trains and independent seconds was made in 1858, no. 15’144, (Patek Philippe Museum Inv. P-1345) and it is evident that by the mid-1860s he was well advanced with two-train independent seconds watches. Watch no. 27’115, (Patek Philippe Museum Inv. P-730), likely shown at the 1867 Paris Universal Exhibition, which had two serially mounted barrels with unidirectional winding and slipping spring is a direct forerunner of the present watch using the system filed under Swiss patent 1017.

Jean-Adrien Philippe’s patent no. 1017 is illustrated and described in: Patek Philippe, Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, p. 53.

Patek Philippe’s independent seconds watches are described and illustrated in: Patek Philippe Watches, Volume I, Patek Philippe Museum, 2013, pp. 257-264.

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