With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with representation of St. George and the dragon to the back in 1883 and its subsequent sale on 22 January 1884. Furthermore delivered with a Patek Philippe presentation box and an example of the exhibition catalogue Les Montres Légendaires de Patek Philippe 1839-1989, Musée de l'Horlogerie et de l'Émaillerie Genève, 10 April - 30 September 1989, in which a similar, possibly the present watch, is illustrated and described, pp. 91 & 96, no. 523.
To the best of our knowledge, this watch is one of only two comparable silver "St. George" watches known to exist to date. Its rarity is further enhanced by the sweep centre seconds, a feature not often seen in pocket watches of this period.
It is a fine example of one of Patek Philippe's repoussé watches, dial and signature style and fond used for the PP & Co. GENEVE and the oxidized case made to render it the appearance of an 18th century watch. These cases were often designed by Georges Hantz, director of the Decorative Arts Museum in Geneva and renowned for his chased and engraved watch cases and moulds for embossing cases and stamping coins or medals.
A nearly identical watch numbered 68'484, two numbers preceding the present watch, sold on 11 May 1884, also with silver case featuring "St. George Scene" and sweep centre seconds, is illustrated in Patek Philippe Pocket Watches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, p. 125, pl. 49 a & b.
St. George, patron of England and legendary slayer of the Dragon, was an early Christian who was martyred under the rule of the Roman Emperor Diocletian in A. D. 303.
The banner of St. George, the red cross of a martyr on a white background, was adopted for the uniform of English soldiers possibly in the reign of Richard the First, and later became the flag of England and the White Ensign of the Royal Navy.
The back of the present watch depicts the St. George talisman, showing St. George on horseback, thrusting his lance at a dragon and the inscription "S. GEORGIUS EQUITUM PATRONUS" (St. George, protector of knights) on one side. The reverse shows a ship in full sail on a rough sea and Christ asleep on the deck with two terrified apostles, a wind blows through a small cloud into the sail and the inscription "IN TEMPESTATE SECURITAS" (protection in the storm).