With Patek Phillipe setting pin, sales tag and slip case.
The present lot is the first reference 5160 in pink gold to appear on the auction market.
Reference 5160 is based on reference 5159 with perpetual calendar, retrograde date and sweep centre seconds, but the case, dial and clasp are enhanced by the highly ornamental delicacy hand engraving. Reference 5160 has long been characterized as a highly complicated wristwatch exuding exclusivity, rarity and artistry.
When Patek Philippe launched the new officier-style retrograde perpetual calendar reference 5159 in 2007, the ancient and revered art of engraving was used to decorate the dial. Following a special order for a reference 5159 with engraved case (sold by Christie’s in Shanghai on 26 September 2013, lot 16), Patek Philippe was so pleased by the aesthetic impact of this customized piece, that they decided to release reference 5160 in 2010 in an extremely small number of pieces. So far made in the three gold colours, it is speculated that no more of two or three dozen pieces will be made for each colour.
The fact that since its launch five years ago only three examples - two in yellow gold and one in white gold - have appeared on the auction market is quite the indicator of the rarity of this reference.
The piece is a remarkable combination of heritage techniques and modern horology. The movement is among the best centre seconds perpetual calendar automatic movements currently in production. Aesthetically, the officier-style case with screw strap bars and hinged cuvette is more than a light nod to historical watches of the early 20th century, and so is the overall dial design with radial Roman numerals and the fifth of a second and Arabic 5 minutes outer divisions. The engraved case with its floral motif typical of the Belle Epoque is reminiscent of the artful decorations of vintage pocket watches.