With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch movement and enamel dial with dauphine numerals and gilt minute figures in 1896 and its subsequent sale on 4 November 1897.
This watch beautifully epitomizes the Art Nouveau style, characterized by the curvilinear depiction of leaves and flowers, foliate forms and sinuous lines. Consigned by a private collector and fresh to the market, it is preserved in very good, original overall condition.
It is believed that its movement, case base and dial were supplied by Patek Philippe to the celebrated Georges Le Saché in Paris, important jewellery designer and manufacturer widely regarded as one of the best jewellers of his time. He created superb jewellery but also watch cases and other decorative objects for Boucheron, Tiffany and Falize, among others, often keeping his work anonymous. The fine chased and engraved decoration is possibly the work of Jules Brateau with whom Le Saché worked regularly.
Le Saché (b. 1849 - unknown) first trained as a draughtsman, and in 1872 joined with Lucien Falize in Paris. After five years of training and experience there, he joined the firm of Baucheron & Guillain, eventually taking over the business which then lasted 30 years. He became one of the most popular designers and makers in Paris, providing the foremost houses including Boucheron and Tiffany & Co., with objects for the major International Exhibitions in Paris, Chicago and Moscow. His name was one of a select group of principal Boucheron jewellers chosen by Frédéric Boucheron to be featured at the 'Exposition Universelle de Paris' in 1900. In 1901, Le Saché was awarded a silver medal by the "Chambre Syndicale de la Bijouterie" to recognise his distinction as a jeweller and designer.
Jules Brateau (1844-1923), celebrated French sculptor, goldsmith, jeweller, won numerous awards for his work, often inspired by masters from the Renaissance. He was made a knight of the Legion of Honour in 1894, and a member of the jury at the Universal Exhibition of 1900.
For detailed information on Georges Le Saché and illustrations of his work, including a watch with châtelaine of comparable decoration, chasing and engraving by Brateau, see French Jewellery of the Nineteenth Century by Henri Vever, pp. 496, 524-531, on Jules Brateau op.cit pp. 286, 463, 466-470, 496, 656.