With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1953 and its subsequent sale on 22 September 1953.
The reference 1544 offered here for sale is believed to be an exceedingly rare example of a so-called "courtesy" or "replacement" watch. These watches were loaned by Patek Philippe to clients requesting to have their timepiece repaired in their workshops and needing a replacement during the time of its absence. To facilitate the identification of these watches and all paperwork involved, the outside cases were engraved with a number under which they were registered in the respective service center - the case of the present being no. 33.
This kind of service watch is exceptionally rare. As a matter of fact, only three other such timepieces have been identified from the market, and it is thought that the total production should add up to less than 20 examples. Considering their intended destination, it is highly improbable that any of the other surviving pieces can sport a condition comparable to the present watch.
The inside of the case back is stamped 12 underneath the case number, showing that it is the 12th example of a reference 1544 in stainless steel made. It can be attributed to the workshops of Georges Crosier, located at 22, Coulovrenière in Geneva, who specialized in the production of high quality watch cases also for Patek Philippe. Its unusual design is emphasized by the two-piece curved hooded lugs, lending the sober rectangular case a rather playful appearance, enhanced by the combination of satin-finished and polished surfaces.
Concluding from the excellent, original overall condition of the present watch, particularly its case, it has most likely never fulfilled its destined task, serving as a courtesy or replacement watch.
Its prominent reproduction in John Goldberger's celebrated Patek Philippe Steel Watches further enhances its appeal.