With Patek Philippe Certificat d'Origine & de Garantie and wooden presentation box containing a spare crystal and main spring. Furthermore delivered with the Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with "Extra" lever movement, hidden hinges and white enamel dial with Breguet numerals and subsidiary seconds in 1919 and its subsequent sale on 11 February 1924. The Extract furthermore states that the watch obtained a First Prize on 9 July 1923 at the Geneva Observatory Chronometer Contest. Also delivered with copies of the Geneva Observatory timing sheet and results of the 1923 First Class timing contest where the watch obtained a First Prize with 823 points. It had been prepared and adjusted by the renowned adjuster J. Golay-Audemars.
Based on the engraved inscription on its cuvette it can be assumed that the watch was originally made for the Romanian statesman Nicolae Titulescu.
It stands out by its very good overall condition and superior quality including the "Extra" movement and the gold case with hidden hinges. The rarity of this watch is further enhanced by the presence of the original certificate, accessories and box and its interesting provenance.
Patek Philippe chronometer movements were made to the highest possible standards and specially adjusted by master adjusters such as the celebrated F. Modoux, Henri Wehrli, J. Golay-Audemars and C. Batifolier. Watches prepared by them, especially those awarded prizes at the Observatory Contests, were several times more expensive than the standard versions.
The present watch is exceptionally well made, adjusted for the Observatory Contest, and engraved on the pillar plate and bridge with the serial number, which was one of the prerequisites of the Observatory Contest rules. It is furthermore stamped twice with the "Poinçon de Genève" or Geneva seal. In November 1886, legislators established a system of optional inspection for watches made in Geneva. Makers could submit their movements and, provided they met the standards, they would then be engraved with the arms of the city of Geneva.
A variety of details including the Guillaume balance with small "wings" at the arm for poising "in the raw", e.g. before the screws were fitted hence assuring that the temperature compensation adjustment would not affect poising, the superior polish of the steel parts, the olive-shaped jewel holes and the very light undercut escape wheel with raised teeth, prove the highest quality of this particularly fine watch.
Precision timekeeping has always been vital to the scientific community, and in 1873, the first annual chronometer competition was held at the Geneva Astronomical Observatory. Rigorous quantitative internationally recognized testing standards were established. The testing, which initially lasted for 40 days, consisted of placing the watches in various positions and temperature conditions. The prestigious watchmakers Patek Philippe were awarded First Prize in the competition as early as 1884.