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PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXTREMELY RARE AND IMPORTANT 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH LUMINOUS BLACK ENAMEL DIAL
PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXTREMELY RARE AND IMPORTANT 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH LUMINOUS BLACK ENAMEL DIAL
PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXTREMELY RARE AND IMPORTANT 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH LUMINOUS BLACK ENAMEL DIAL
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PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXTREMELY RARE AND IMPORTANT 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH LUMINOUS BLACK ENAMEL DIAL
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> Some watches are pictured with straps made of en… Read more PATEK PHILIPPETHE ONLY GOLD REF. 2526 WITH LUMINOUS BLACK ENAMEL DIAL & RETAILED BY SERPICO Y LAINO KNOWN TO EXISTPROPERTY FROM A MOST IMPORTANT AND DISTINGUISHED COLLECTOR (LOTS 2456-2458)
PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXTREMELY RARE AND IMPORTANT 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH LUMINOUS BLACK ENAMEL DIAL

SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE, GENEVE, RETAILED BY SERPICO Y LAINO CARACAS, REF. 2526, MOVEMENT NO. 761'199, CASE NO. 684'507, MANUFACTURED IN 1954

Details
PATEK PHILIPPE. AN EXTREMELY RARE AND IMPORTANT 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH LUMINOUS BLACK ENAMEL DIAL
SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE, GENEVE, RETAILED BY SERPICO Y LAINO CARACAS, REF. 2526, MOVEMENT NO. 761'199, CASE NO. 684'507, MANUFACTURED IN 1954
Movement: Cal. 12'"600, automatic, 30 jewels, Geneva Seal, signed
Dial: Black enamel dial with gold hour markers filled with luminous material, signed Serpico y Laino Caracas
Case: Screw down back, 36 mm. diam., case back stamped S.& L., signed
With: 18k gold Patek Philippe buckle, Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1954 and its subsequent sale on 26 May 1955.
Special notice

> Some watches 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. > Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory, tortoiseshell and crocodile. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

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Yvonne Yu
Yvonne Yu

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Lot Essay

In terms of rarity, beauty, desirability and originality, the present reference 2526 is a world-class watch at the very highest level. Furthermore, only three examples of a first series reference 2526 with black enamel dial are known with luminous indexes. The present watch is so far the only one known with Extract-confirmed black luminous dial signed by Patek Philippe's prestigious retailer Serpico y Laino in Caracas, Venezuela.

Distinguished by its superb original overall condition, this first series 2526 has never been subject to much polishing, underlined by the full proportions, the crisp "S.&L.” and “18K" American import stamps to the case back and the clearly visible hallmarks, rarely seen so clearly on a 65 year old watch.

The Dial
Most importantly, the black dial is confirmed by the Extract from the Archives, as are the luminous gold indexes. A confirmed black dial from the early period of the 2526 is exceptional, this confirmation makes the present watch very exciting indeed. Its significance becomes even greater by the presence of the signature of Serpico y Laino, Caracas and the realization that the dial is true fired hard enamel with full counter enamel (as opposed to soft lacquered) and of “First Series” construction. The first 2526 enamel dials are quite distinct from later production, the gold hour markers are actually set into the dial via holes and secured using pins. All later dials have the markers glued to the solid enamel surface. Luminous markers such as those seen on the present watch are extremely rare on any reference 2526. The dial has perhaps only ever been lightly cleaned since new, the luminous material replaced many years ago and now naturally aged over time as are the luminous Dauphine hands.

The Case
Preserved in generally excellent original overall condition, the case back displays the stamps “S.&L.” and “18K” confirming the originality of the Serpico y Laino signature on the dial. The cases of the reference 2526 were made by the Geneva master casemaker F. Baumgartner, whose punch mark of number 2 in a key is found inside the back. The most distinguishing features of the 2526 case are its domed screw back for water-resistance and the beautiful cast gold crown with opposing “PP” design.


The Movement
The reference 2526 was the landmark model to be given the privilege to house the firm's first automatic calibre ever, the now famous 12-600 AT. This state-of-the-art calibre with the main spring wound through the oscillating movements of a massive 18K gold engine-turned rotor is seen by many as the most lavishly finished automatic movement ever conceived by any manufacturer. The 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".

We are grateful to Eric Tortella for his assistance and study in researching this watch.


Ref. 2526 is illustrated in: Patek Philippe Wristwatches, Huber & Banbery, 1998 edition, pp. 216-217, and calibre 12 600 AT detailed views p. 214.

Reference 2526 is also illustrated in: Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe - Volume II, pp. 244-246.

The present watch will be prominently illustrated in: Blue Book 2, study by Eric Tortella, 2019 edition, pp.132-144.


Reference 2526
Reference 2526 is amongst the most elegant and distinguished vintage watches ever made. The model takes a historically relevant role in the establishment of Patek Philippe's fame to be the premier manufacturer of the world's finest wristwatches.
Introduced into the market in 1952 it was Patek Philippe's first ever automatic watch starting with movement number 760'000.

Reference 2526 is always a masterpiece, the present watch is a great rarity among them and can be considered a collector's watch of immense interest.

Serpico y Laino
Serpico y Laino was founded in the late 1920s by two Italian immigrants, Leopoldo Serpico and Vicente Laino, a young goldsmith. Initially focusing on jewellery, they soon expanded into watches and became the exclusive distribution agent for Rolex in Venezuela following a meeting with Hans Wilsdorf in Geneva in the early 1930s. Shortly after other brands were added and the firm was appointed the sole authorized retailer for another famous watch manufacturer: Patek Philippe. In 1966, after forty years of flourishing business, the leading watch retailer in Caracas clos

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