With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with concealed hinge, movement number printed on the dial, dial signed Tiffany & Co., in 1916 and its subsequent sale on 12 May 1917.
Consigned by the descendants of the original owner and fresh to the market, it is distinguished by its remarkable quality, "best of the best" of Patek Philippe's production of the period: an "extra quality" high precision movement, the sumptuous case with hidden hinges and the dial consisting of seven parts it represents the perfect example for one of the firm's finest pieces made for their distinguished retailer Tiffany & Co. This is the only known watch with this case and dial combination.
In October 1916, Stanley Severin "Sem" Sörensen (1864-1939) was elected to the Board of Directors of Braden Copper Company and Braden Copper Mines Company based in Chile. The company was founded in 1904 and bought the El Teniente copper mine in Sewell, Chile in 1905. With the outbreak of World War I, demand for large copper deposits grew significantly and business prospered for Sewell and the executives of the company. Under Sörensen's leadership beginning in 1916, at the same time the Guggenheim family assumed ownership of the mines, the town grew from 9000 inhabitants in 1916 to over 14,000 inhabitants the year he left the company. This watch was a gift from Sörensen's employees in Chile and New York to thank him for his work.
Upon his retirement in 1920, Sörensen received the watch from his loyal and appreciative employees. According to the family story and surviving documents, Sörensen's "loyal men" collected money for a lavish presentation gift then nominated one amongst them to find the perfect gift for Sörensen during a trip to New York City. The man responsible for choosing the gift was walking along the street when he saw the watch in the window of Tiffany & Co. Upon deciding this was the perfect gift, he arranged for the watch to be engraved and enameled with the presentation, and presented the watch to Sörensen.
After Sörensen passed away, the watch passed to Pope Yeatman, his close friend. Sörensen had willed "his precious watch" to Pope Yeatman, his colleague at the Braden and Chuquicamata mines in Chile and a lifelong friend. Sörensen also arranged for his wife Edna to ensure that it would go to her brother, Edward B. Jennings, once Yeatman was ready to let it go. In 1940, Edna gave the watch to her brother with a letter explaining Sem's wishes.
When Edward B. Jennings received the watch, he was very proud of it and wore it faithfully. He often traveled with his daughter, Joan, by train in a sleeper car. Joan would ask several times a night from the upper berth "what time is it?" His response would be to chime the watch from the lower berth. Jennings kept the watch until his death in 1968 at which time it went to his son-in-law, Thomas J. Howard. Thomas Howard passed the watch onto his second son, Scott.
Stanley Severin "Sem" Sörensen (1864-1939) was born in Scotland, where his father was a wool exporter. Sörensen pursued an international career as a mining engineer, with notable early work in gold mines in New Zealand and in British Columbia. For a decade beginning in the early 20th century, he managed copper smelters in Nevada and Utah and conducted significant experiments at the Highland Boy mine in using coal dust and other waste products as fuel in the smelting process. He knew Edward P. Jennings as a colleague in mining engineering, becoming a friend of the Jennings family. By 1915 Sörensen relocated to Rancagua, Chile, as the general manager of the Braden Copper Company mine, in the famous Teniente ore, which is now recognized as the Sewell Mine UNESCO World Heritage site. Pope Yeatman was the consulting engineer at the mine; the two men maintained a life-long friendship. In 1937, Sem married Edward Jennings' daughter, Edna; they lived in Los Angeles until his death in 1939.
Pope Yeatman (1861- 1953), born and educated in St. Louis, had a long and distinguished career as a mining engineer. His early career took him to varied sites from Missouri to the American Southwest and Mexico. After ten years in the gold fields of South Africa, he was the principal consulting engineer to the Guggenheims in their copper operations in Nevada and in Chile, including the Braden Copper company mines where Sem Sörensen was general manager. In 1918, Yeatman was honored by the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America with a Gold Medal for his "Distinguished Service in the Administration of Mines."
Edward B. Jennings (1896 - 1968) was born October 17th, 1896 in Florence Wisconsin, the son of Edward Payson Jennings and Ida Fitzgerald, his second wife. The family moved several times until relocating to Salt Lake City in 1898. His father passed away during his first year at Stanford University. Jennings completed his second year of university closer to home at the Colorado School of Mines, and then worked for several years at various mining jobs with Utah Apex Mining Co and the Radium Company of Colorado. In the early 1920s he completed his undergraduate degree, an SB, at MIT. He started work with Universal Exploration Company, a United States Steel subsidiary, in Gouverneur, New York. Over the years he moved between the Gouverneur and Jefferson City, Tennessee mines, and was named the General Superintendent of the Jefferson City mine in December 1945. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1959. He died in Jefferson City in July 1968, a few short months after receiving the AIME's Legion of Merit award for 50 years of service to the society.