With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with lapped gold indexes in 1947 and its subsequent sale on 28 June 1948.
Reference 96 is undeniably Patek Philippe's most legendary design. Introduced in 1932, its timeless case proportions are as modern today, over 70 years later, as they were at the time of its creation. Incorporating elements of Bauhaus, late Art Deco and modernism, it is the perfect 1930s representation. Amongst connoisseurs, reference 96 is better known as the Calatrava, a name which stands for avant-garde philosophy thanks to its subtle, elegant lines - clearly Patek Philippe's signature piece.
The present timepiece is a previously unknown exquisite example of reference 96. Beyond the stunning condition of its pink gold case, it further impresses even the most savvy connoisseur with its engine-turned dial. Engine-turning is a complex and attractive dial manufacturing method which reached its height of popularity in the 1950s. A rare dial style, it was reserved usually for complicated timepieces; it is very uncommon to be found on a reference 96. As a matter of fact, the present timepiece is the only example known of such a dial configuration. Other renowned and celebrated examples of engine-turned dials from the same time can be found on some of the rare Patek Philippe reference 2523, the two-crowns world time wristwatches. Interestingly, the engine-turning style found on these world time pieces matches the one found on this reference 96, further confirming the originality of the dial.