With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the movement of the present watch in 1958. It was encased in 1965 and sold on 30 January 1980.
In 1955, Patek Philippe teamed up with Gilbert Albert, a young Geneva based jewelery designer, with the aim of producing a series of unusual wristwatches. The talented artist took his inspiration from his passion for modern art, notably works by Brancusi and Mondrian, and his daring and unconventional case designs are considered as cutting-edge today as they were 40 years ago.
The present watch is from the celebrated "Ricochet" collection of asymmetrical watches, described and illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 78, 163 (ref. 3424 in platinum with diamond-set bezel), 187 and 188. Many of these revolutionary designs never went above the prototype stage, most certainly due to the uncertain commercial success of the revolutionary design.
The avant-garde design of reference 3424 however appealed to Patek Philippe's clientele and consequently led to the manufacture of an extremely small quantity of this model: according to our research, only five examples of this reference in white gold have appeared in public to date, all featuring black sector lines on the dial. The present watch is the only example of a reference 3424 in white gold known to date with painted black "baton" indexes instead of the better known sector lines. It furthermore stands out by its excellent, original overall condition.
Few wristwatches have achieved such iconic status as the asymmetric creations by Patek Philippe. Even 40 years after its creation, reference 3424 is more modern than many watches of current production. Thanks to its landmark design and touch of contemporary art, it promises to attract more curious and admiring looks than numerous complicated peers could ever hope for.
For a reference 3424 in yellow gold see lot 82 in this auction.