With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with two silvered and lapis lazuli dials in 1978 and its subsequent sale on 24 July 1987.
This watch is believed to be the only second example of a reference 4404/1, in production from 1976 until around 1979, to appear in public to date. It is furthermore preserved in excellent overall condition.
The 1970s were a time of great cultural fervor: music, the figurative arts, even fashion were all affected by the sociological context. The watchmaking industry is no exception, and it is during this time that some of the most creatively intriguing watches were designed and manufactured.
The present watch, a lovely specimen of reference 4404/1, is a wonderful opportunity to see this trend in action. While this is a double dial wristwatch, not a single scale can be found on it. The only designation is the Patek Philippe signature is very minute in size. The entire aesthetic impact of the watch is entrusted to a game of reflections, colours, textures and shapes. The large case only looks rectangular, but a closer looks reveals that it is actually octagonal. The cut corners contribute to making the watch look more essential and less encumbering, as the then-current fashion is oriented toward minute, flat watches.
Patek Philippe's love for textures and bright colors is exemplified in this timepiece in an incredibly elegant way: the use of deep blue lapis lazuli is the perfect background for the textured bracelet and the dials. As a matter of fact, bracelet, dials and bezel are all playing the same tune, just with slightly different timbres: the subsidiary counters perfectly mimic the texture of the bracelet, and while the diamond-set bezel indeed shines brighter, the shiny and textured vibe that it gives off seems to be just an highlighted version of the vibe given off by the other white components of the watch.
It is interesting to note that while this is, in theory, a watch for travelers, the finish and material could not be less appropriate for such a destination. This is consequence of modern technology permeating more and more consistently every aspect of society. Wristwatches are less and less seen as mere tools, but rather as the one and only true jewel for men. Consequently, the array of complications developed over the course of the previous decades in order to address real-life situations (for example, the repeater to "see" the time by night), gradually lose their original connotation and become instead exercise in technical proficiency and designing ability: this is a travel time watch never meant to travel. It was meant to be a superb example of horologic art to be showcased with pride at the most refined black tie dinners on the planet.