With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present chronograph watch in 1879 and its subsequent sale on 17 January 1879.
Patek Philippe made approximately 98 of such inking chronographs in two series, the first from 1878 to 1880 and the second from 1891 to 1892 (see Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe Watches Volume I, p. 290, Inking Chronograph).
To the best of our knowledge, this inking chronograph is part of a small series and less than twenty examples of this rare instrument have appeared at auction to date.
Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec, watchmaker to King Louis Philippe of France, was born in Toulouse in 1781 and invented the inking chronograph in 1821. The inking chronograph was then improved and perfected by Frederick Louis Fatton, one of Breguet's most gifted workmen.
The inking chronograph operates by means of the hand composed of two parts. The lower part is fitted with an ink bowl and the upper part with a thin needle which, when activated, compresses the lower part to release a trace of ink on the dial to give a visual read-out of the elapsed time.
It is interesting to note that an identical inking chronograph, with the preceding number 58'236, with the original fitted presentation box, was sold in this saleroom on 9 November 2014, lot 7, CHF16,250.