Accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin and Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1985 and its subsequent sale on 28 August 1985.
Repeating watches, a reminiscence of the past when electric light was not yet available to facilitate reading of time in the dark, have become the ultimate state of the art device for the demanding connoisseur wanting to enjoy perfect craftsmanship combined with the discreet look of a contemporary wristwatch.
Due to the extreme cost of production, only a limited number of these most desirable and rarest trophies in today's collectors market were made, the majority fitted with a 12 lignes movement.
The present watch is doubtlessly one of the most attractive and interesting version of a minute repeating wristwatch. It was made by Patek Philippe upon special request with the smaller 11 lignes movement, allowing it to fit in the extremely elegant "Calatrava" case, reference 96. To the best of our knowledge, no other minute repeating wristwatch of such case design was made by Patek Philippe in the last 70 years. It is furthermore the only example of a reference 3652 known to exist.
Research has resulted in the identification of approximately 20 minute repeating wristwatches made before 1940, all in either square, octagonal, cushion or tonneau-shaped cases. The first circular minute repeating wristwatch by Patek Philippe, reference 2421, was launched in 1946 followed by reference 2524 in 1952.
Between the discontinuation of these two references in the late 1960s until the launch of reference 3979 in 1989, Patek Philippe did not produce any other series of a minute repeating wristwatch. The present watch is therefore one of the very few examples made to special order in nearly 30 years.
The rarity of this unique piece is further enhanced by the very attractive cream enamel-coloured dial and the outstanding condition. Furthermore it has been completely overhauled by Patek Philippe in Geneva in 1999.
With the addition of the extremely rare signature "Golay Fils & Stahl" and the fact that it has never been offered in public before, the present watch combines all elements the demanding collector would seek.
Golay fils & Stahl
Founded in 1837 by the watch and clock maker Golay-Leresche at 31, quai des Bergues in Geneva, the family run company specialized in the production of high quality watches for which they obtained various medals and awards. They quickly became an important asset to Geneva's economy and were recognizable amongst the best watch manufacturers of Switzerland, both nationally and internationally.
Their products comprised highly complicated watches such as an 18K gold openface minute repeating perpetual calendar watch with phases of the moon, sunrise, sunset and equation of time, made circa 1910 for the Maharaja of Patiala.
To honor the company and their fine watches, masterpieces signed Golay fils & Stahl from an important private collection were exhibited in the Musée de l'Horlogerie et de l'Emaillerie in Geneva from 26 May 2000 to 16 January 2001 "Les Heures Précieuses, Golay fils & Stahl, Genève 1837 - 1940".
The "Calatrava" line of watches was named after Patek Philippe's logo, the Calatrava cross, and originally launched in 1932 with the celebrated reference number 96. Models featuring this easily recognisable, highly elegant and timeless case design are amongst the most popular watches ever made.