With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with enamel "Guerre des Souabes" in 1971 and its subsequent sale on 16 February 1972. Furthermore delivered with the original Patek Philippe Belgium letter dated 17 October 2013 confirming full servicing of the watch in the firms workshops.
Consigned by a private collector, the present reference 866/12 has never been offered in public before.
The enamel miniature on its back depicts a battle piece from the Swabian War of 1499 and is signed by M. Bischoff, one of the few artists mastering this art.
For over 3,000 years, fine enamelling has decorated and enriched watches, jewellery and objects d'art. Patek Philippe maintains this rare craft of miniature enamelling, traditionally associated with the finest Geneva timepieces, and in many ways the most difficult of the decorative arts.
Nowadays, only few artists still master this art. These rare Patek Philippe timepieces are, in general, unique pieces made to special order with the subject matter to be represented chosen by the client. They often include famous landscape and portrait paintings, celebrities or even family members of the future owner.
Guerre des Souabes
The Swabian War, Guerre des Souabes in French (Schwabenkrieg, also called Schweizerkrieg, "Swiss War", in Germany and Engadiner Krieg, "War of the Engadin", in Austria), was the last major armed conflict between the Old Swiss Confederacy and the House of Habsburg. What had begun as a local conflict over the control of the Val Müstair and the Umbrail Pass in the Grisons soon got out of hand when both parties called upon their allies for help; the Habsburgs demanding the support of the Swabian League, and the Federation of the Three Leagues of the Grisons turning to the Swiss Eidgenossenschaft. Hostilities quickly spread from the Grisons through the Rhine valley to Lake Constance and even to the Sundgau in southern Alsace, the westernmost part of Habsburg Further Austria.
Many battles were fought from January to July 1499, and in all but a few minor skirmishes, the experienced Swiss soldiers defeated the Swabian and Habsburg armies. After their victories in the Burgundian Wars, the Swiss had battle tested troops and commanders. On the Swabian side, distrust between the knights and their foot soldiers, disagreements amongst the military leadership, and a general reluctance to fight a war that even the Swabian counts considered to be more in the interests of the powerful Habsburgs than in the interest of the Holy Roman Empire proved fatal handicaps. When his military high commander fell in the battle of Dornach, where the Swiss won a final decisive victory, King Maximilian I had no choice but to agree to a peace treaty signed on 22 September 1499 in Basel. The treaty granted the Confederacy far-reaching independence from the empire. Although the Eidgenossenschaft officially remained a part of the empire until the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the peace of Basel exempted it from the imperial jurisdiction and imperial taxes and thus de facto acknowledged it as a separate political entity.