With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial, enamelled Arabic numerals at 6 and 12, minute track in 1929 and its subsequent sale on 20 April 1935.
The ébauche for this unusual watch was commissioned by Patek Philippe and made by Victorin Piguet & Co. of Le Sentier. During the 1920s the company made most of the ébauches for complicated movements, including single button and split seconds chronographs, mainly for prestigious firms like Patek Philippe.
The present watch is most likely the most extraordinary example from the entire series of round yellow gold single-button chronographs by Patek Philippe known in the world. When it appeared for the first time in public in 2000, then offered directly by the grandson of the original owner, scholars were amazed to learn that it was indeed 35mm large in diameter. Until then, no other example of single-button chronograph by Patek Philippe has been recorded with such diameter - some 2mm larger than the "regular" examples. Collectors were equally surprised to learn that the archives list this chronograph as a reference 130, given the fact that it was different larger but also in view of the double-hinged case. We only know of one similar single-button chronograph, also with 35mm case diameter but with Breguet numerals, which is today in the Patek Philippe Museum.
Following close examination, the most demanding and educated collectors were amazed to find a watch of 65 years of age to have survived in virtually mint and untouched condition. In fact, all elements are as fresh as in 1935 including the dial which is "best in class". In fact, it displays perfectly raised black hard enamel numerals, scales and signature paired with an immaculate lacquer, resulting in a subtle shine in tones of cream and ivory. Most beautifully, the extract of Patek Philippe's archives fully confirms all details of the dial. The case is excellently well preserved with the hinges solid and without signs of use or repair.
Back in 2000, all the excitement before the auction translated into fierce bidding for this piece and demonstrated that all the relevant scholars were in agreement in regards to this chronographs rarity, importance, beauty and original condition. A private collector eventually won the race paying over 1.1 million Swiss Francs for it, a sum never again paid for a round single-button chronograph since then. Since the acquisition some 12 years ago, the watch has not seen daylight and was preserved under the best possible conditions.
Much to the benefit of scholarship, the original dial drawing was recently discovered in the archives of Stern Frères, the celebrated dial makers and suppliers to Patek Philippe.
The present chronographe mono-poussoir is, without a doubt, one of the world's most beautiful, best preserved, mechanically fascinating, well documented and rarest vintage chronograph wristwatches by Patek Philippe and coming back to the market for only the second time in its nearly 80 years of history is a sensation. With two family-owners since new, it can be warmly recommended to any collectors who is aiming to add a true master piece to his collection