The reference 2526 was the first self-winding watch produced by Patek Philippe in 1953. It was produced until the early 1960s until it was succeeded by the reference 3428 (please see Lot 42 in this sale). This particular example features the highly sought after first series dial as well as the original retailer signature on the dial, Cuervo Y Sobrinos.
Double signed dials are rare and sought after, especially when they are found on enamel dials from this era and with the signatures to the enamel seemingly untouched.
Fresh to market, to the best of our knowledge this watch has never before appeared in public, offering astute Patek Philippe collectors an incredible opportunity. This is the first time Christie's will be offering the reference 2526 with a 'Cuervo Y Sobrinos Dial'
Cuervo Y Sobrinos
The name ‘Cuervo Y Sobrinos’ or ‘Cuervo and Nephews’ signifies a time in history that should be cherished for its significance in the world of vintage watches. Founded in 1882 with Latin roots, Don Ramon Cuervo and his family established a jewelry and watchmaking business in the heart of Havana. Leading into the beginning of the 20th century, the Cuervo name became synonymous with high-end luxury and Cuban laidback living. A simple mention of the Cuervo family’s brand was enough to impress during a time in Cuba which was a hub for style and fashion. Soon enough, top tier watch manufacturers such as Patek Philippe, Rolex and Longines were making watches just for Cuervo in the hopes that they would grace the watches with their signature and sell them in their store. The success of the business continued, expanding to other regions including North America and Europe, most notably La Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel, the capital of watchmaking.
In the mid to late 1950s an unfortunate turn of events occurred. The Cuban revolution forced the Cuervo family to flee their shop, to leave the business that they had spent so many years cultivating. The turbulence was shocking and most of the watch dials, cases and movements were left behind, suspended in time, clinging to a peaceful and profitable past.
Today, the the Cuervo Y Sobrinos name continues, headed by Italian entrepreneur Marzio Villa. The timepieces honor the original designs and strive to connote that splendid vintage Cuban flair.