It is such a rare event that a complicated classic Patek Philippe has remained in the hands of its original buyer for almost fifty years until today. Recently discovered and entirely fresh to the market, the present watch has been consigned for sale by the wife of the original owner who had purchased the watch new in 1969. It features the rarer German calendar version, as requested by him, and is in fact believed to be the first ref. 844 in over 30 years of public auction to be offered with this configuration.
This superb example of the rare reference 844 immediately impresses with its excellent overall condition with sharp angles to bezel and case. The original dial has never been subject to any restoration and displays a great shine, further enhancing the appeal of this exceptional triple complication.
Distinguished by its architectural, modernist case and dial design reduced to a minimalist level, reference 844 is one of Patek Philippe's greatest post war designs for complicated pocket watches. Launched around 1964 and often fitted with movements begun much earlier (the movement of the present watch dates from 1930) the model is best known for its so-called "American calendar", derived from the arrangement of the calendar indication, starting with month, date and day of the week as opposed to the European date, month and day of the week sequence. Also known as linear calendar or digital calendar display, it was introduced with references 699/2 and 699/5 in the mid-1950s and later evolved into the references 843 and 844.
Of very similar style, only differing by size and minor case or dial details, references 843 and 844 were made in an exceedingly small series only, the vast majority in yellow gold. According to research, only 19 examples of references 843 & 844 including one white gold example have appeared publically to date.
For the illustration and description of reference 844 with movement no. 861'100 see Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe Watches - Volume I, p. 387, Inv. P-700.