This watch is accompanied by a Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives, Patek Philippe original fitted black presentation box numbered 198431, an edition of Watch Escapements by James C. Pellaton, and an Observatoire de Geneve certificate.
On November 10th, 1801, horological legend Abraham Louis Breguet (1747-1823) received a patent for his ingenious tourbillon invention. Breguet designed the tourbillon (or whirlwind) to compensate for fluctuations and errors in time measurement caused by the position a watch is placed in. For example, watches with traditional movements may keep excellent time when resting on a desk horizontally, but when that same watch is placed vertically in a pocket, gravity affects the frequency or rate of the escapement) and thus its accuracy. Breguet's invention compensated for these gravitational effects by placing the escapement in a revolving carriage. As the tourbillon carriage revolves (usually one entire revolution per minute), its position constantly changes and consequently the fluctuations in rate caused by gravity are averaged out. Once a tourbillon watch is properly adjusted, the effects of gravity are essentially nullified, regardless of how it is positioned.
Precision timekeeping has always been vital to the scientific community, and in 1873, the first annual chronometer competition was held at the Geneva Astronomical Observatory. Rigorous quantitative internationally recognized testing standards were established. The testing, which initially lasted for 40 days, consisted of placing the watches in various positions and temperature conditions. The prestigious watchmakers Patek Philippe were awarded First Prize in the competition as early as 1884.
Patek Philippe confirm production of the present lot in 1932 - the same year it was awarded First Prize at the Geneva Astronomical Observatory. The watch was purchased by Esmond Bradley Martin for approximately $600 in 1938. The inside of the hinged back was engraved at the factory, and reads, Fabrique specialment pour Esmond Bradley Martin.
The tourbillon carriage for movement number 198431 was fabricated by the renowned and celebrated watchmaker, James C. Pellaton (1873-1954). Pellaton served as both a professor and Director at the School of Horology in Le Locle from 1925-1939. Pellaton's pursuit towards perfection and lifetime of achievemets has earned him the reputation as one of the greatest watchmakers of the era.
Other examples of tourbillon watches by Patek Philippe are illustrated in Patek Philippe Pocket Watches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, pp. 169, 175-177.