With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with enamel dial and independent dead centre seconds in 1882 and its subsequent sale on 8 March 1884.
Patek Philippe's independent dead centre seconds are exceedingly rare. The present example is believed to be one of only six watches featuring this complication with the addition of a subsidiary seconds dial known to exist to date. It is furthermore the only one among the six fitted with a half hunter case. This predecessor of the chronograph is furthermore preserved in very good, original overall condition.
The independent dead seconds mechanism requires two going trains, one for the movement and one for the sweep centre seconds hand, allowing it to be stopped without stopping the main train in order not to interfere with the accuracy of timekeeping. The invention of this mechanism is attributed to Moise Pouzait, Geneva 1776.
Adrien Philippe's independent dead seconds mechanism (Swiss patent No. 1017 of 23 May 1889, illustrated and described in Patek Philippe Pocket Watches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, p. 53) varies completely from Pouzait's design. Moving the seconds train over the center bridge created more space, thus allowing a larger balance resulting in better timekeeping.
Independent seconds watch no. 80'048 dating circa 1888-1889 is illustrated and described in Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe Watches - Volume I, p. 263, Inv. P-626. It features the same two-train movement as the present watch and is described as probably being one of the earliest examples of such an independent seconds watch with two simultaneously wound barrels, rendering this watch even rarer. Numbered 48'469 and made in 1882, it precedes watch no. 80'048 and the patent, delivered in May 1889, by seven years.