Accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificat d'Origine confirming that the present watch, decorated with original relief by Hans Erni, is number 61 of a limited edition of 100 examples, numbered 1 to 100, made to commemorate the 50th Swiss Federal Target Shooting contest in Lucerne in 1979. Furthermore delivered with the Extract from the Archives confirming production of this watch with commemorative engravings in 1979 and its subsequent sale on 25 January 1980 and Patek Philippe insurance estimation dated 12 December 2003, stating an insurance value of SFr. 24,500.
Purchased by the late husband of the present owner in 1980, the watch has never been offered in public before and is in extremely well preserved condition. It is furthermore believed to be only the third example of this model to appear at auction to date.
A similar watch, movement no. 932'892, is described and illustrated in Patek Philippe by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, p. 166, pl. 125 a, b.
The relief decoration on the covers of the present watch were made by Hans Erni (born in Lucerne on 21 February 1909), an important Swiss painter and sculptor. He is known in particular for illustrating postage stamps and lithographs for the Swiss Red Cross, the Olympic Committee and others. The Hans Erni House in the Lucerne Transportation Museum contains a large collection of his work.
Wilhelm or William Tell, the legendary Swiss patriot, was according to legend a native of Uri. Gessler, the canton's Austrian bailiff, decreed that Swiss citizens must remove their hats before his hat, which he had posted on a stake in the canton's largest town. Tell refused and as punishment was ordered to shoot an apple with his crossbow off his small son's head. Although he succeeded, he was held prisoner by Gessler when he revealed that had he failed, he planned to kill Gessler with an arrow he had hidden on his person. Tell escaped and eventually shot Gessler from ambush at Küssnacht, Lucerne, thus setting off the revolt that ousted the bailiff on 1 January 1308. While there is no valid proof of Tell's existence, the legend represents a distorted account of events that resulted (in 1291) in the formation of the "Everlasting League" between the cantons of Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden. Schiller's popular drama "Wilhelm Tell" is based on the legend; Rossini's opera "William Tell" is based on Schiller's drama.