With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present movement in 1908, its completion and encasement in 1959 and the subsequent sale of the watch on 8 March 1963.
This watch is believed to be the only known example of reference 781 to appear in public to date graced by the retailer's signature Hausmann & Co. The rarity is further enhanced by the very good, original overall condition.
Reference 781 is an ultra-rare representative of the over one hundred year old family of Patek Philippe's complicated watches, unusual also by the absence of the minute repeating mechanism normally found in these timepieces.
Until around 1930, during the first forty some years of their making, highly complicated Patek Philippe watches were generally made with white enamel dials and the cases of rounded forms. From the 1930s until the 1960s, more modernist dial and case designs were introduced, followed by another modernisation with cases becoming rather angular, the dial layouts reduced to a minimalist level.
The present reference 781 is a perfect example of the "minimalist" generation", uniting a state-of-the art complicated movement of pre-war conception, a refined and elaborate case, substantial enough to impress but handy enough to be used, and an extremely attractive silvered dial with all scales and signatures perfectly raised in hard enamel.
Wristwatch aficionados will instantly recognise the dial layout, mirroring so many style elements found in wristwatches from the same period: most notably the applied baton numerals and dauphine hands and the omission of the tachometer scale, known from the third generation of reference 2499, launched around the same period as this reference 781.