Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with gold cushion-shaped case and silvered dial with Breguet numerals in 1925 and its subsequent sale on 4 January 1927.
This unique gold cushion-shaped single button split seconds chronograph wristwatch by Patek Philippe is the only example of such a chronograph ever made by the celebrated firm for a left-handed wearer. The split seconds chronograph mechanism allows its wearer to time two independantly happening events while operating the stop functions via the crown and the second button in the band. Combining the state-of-the-art split seconds chronograph movement with the latest design of that period, it is one of the most important wristwatches ever to come at auction.
It is interesting to note that the present watch's importance is acknowledged by Patek Philippe's choice of using its image in their sale catalogues, published in several languages and distributed amongst the firm's international clientele. In fact, in "160 Years of ongoing Innovation", a timetable explaining Patek Philippe's greatest achievements and most important patents since its founding in 1839, this watch was chosen to illustrate the patent of the split second chronograph mechanism.
Cushion-shaped split chronographs by Patek Philippe are exceedingly rare. Not only due to most limited production during the late 1920's, but even more as several of the so-called "Chronographes Coussin-Tortue" have not found a buyer but remained unsold until, in a second attempt to market these exclusivities, Patek Philippe recased them. In order to lend them a more modern look mostly the well-known reference 130 "Calatrava-style" case design was used. Many of these watches are actually only known through literature and archival images.
Only two other examples of cushion-shaped single button split seconds chronograph wristwatches by Patek Philippe are known have survived, one of them is on permanent exhibit at Patek Philippe's own Museum in Geneva. Both these watches are standard right-hand wearers versions with the crown and split seconds chronograph button positioned to the right side, further underlining the rarity and importance of the watch offered here for sale. It is furthermore interesting to note that only the present watch is fitted with the Officier-style lugs.
For archival images of cushion-shaped single button split seconds chronograph wristwatches by Patek Philippe, see Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 271, pl. 417 and 419.
The ébauche for this highly important 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 a unique combination of distinguished elements comprising a cushion-shaped case, the crown and second chronograph button to the left side, the horizontally positioned subsidiary dials, the black hard enamel Breguet numerals and the original overall condition.
Grogan Company, Pittsburgh
Grogan Co. were the leading jewelers of Pittsburgh at the turn of the century and one of Patek Philippe's retailer in the US, selling high quality watches, jewelery and silver to a demanding clientele.
During the mid 1870s to the 1930s Pittsburgh was one of the word's leading industrial centres, especially known as a steel-manufacturing centre.