With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1973 with lapis lazuli on the bezel and white gold bracelet, and its subsequent sale on 14 March 1974.
It is well known that serious watch collectors tend to polarize their taste and collection toward one watch brand or another. If a collector specialized in, for example Rolex, buys a watch by another brand, it must mean the watch was so special and particular that it managed to transcend the psychological barriers of a brand-biased buyer. Following this line of thought, if the buyer who purchases, for example the Patek Philippe here on offer, is not only a Rolex collector but also the most knowledgeable authority on Rolex Daytona and one of the undisputed top watch connoisseurs worldwide, it must be that the watch is indeed truly special. This is, in fact, precisely the case, as this watch was consigned by no one less than Mr. Pucci Papaleo, one of the most appreciated, trusted and worldwide respected watch scholars of the past 20 years.
Mr. Papaleo says he follows three criteria when evaluating a watch for his personal collection: condition, condition, and condition; and when looking at this watch, it is apparent that he is very serious. A wonderful example of 1970s design, this previously unknown timepiece is an incredible mixture of understatement and fanciness. The dial is clean to the point of starkness, without any inscription but the small understated signature at 12 and the "Swiss" designation practically hidden under the numeral at 6. The only other presence on the dial are the four lapis lazuli-set baton indexes. The dial is framed by a narrow, flat metal bezel, and then two relatively large slabs of lapis lazuli with a gentle inclination add the final touch. In typical 70s style, the watch is not defined by scales, sectors or subsidiary dials, as it was so common in the first half of the century. Now the watch becomes undisputed realm of pure shapes and color - in this case white and blue - in a process similar to what happened for figurative arts: if this watch were a painting, it could easily be an abstract Kandinsky, shapes and color taken alone say little, but together become art.
It is unsurprising that this piece caught the attention of even such a die-hard "Rolexista" as Mr. Papaleo, especially when we consider the condition of the watch: obviously unpolished and unrestored. And, for a watch that is based on pure lines and geometrical shapes, an unpolished case becomes of paramount concern in order to maintain intact the effect dreamed up by Patek Philippe's artists nearly fifty years ago.