An extremely fine, highly attractive and unique gilt brass solar powered dome clock with cloisonné enamel abstract scene and presentation box

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1956
    Reference No: 730
    Movement No: 872'559
    Case No: 92
    Model Name: "Abstract in blue, grey and red"
    Material: Gilt brass and cloisonné enamel
    Calibre: cal. 17.250 photo electric cell
    Dimensions: 210mm Height
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by its original presentation box and Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present dome clock in 1956 with abstract, blue, grey and red cloisonné enamel and its subsequent sale on September 26, 1956

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1948, Patek Philippe inaugurated its Electronic Division with the aim of researching on photoelectric, electronic and nuclear technology to power clocks. Within two years, the department succeeded in creating the first solar clock. The caliber 17-250 was fitted with a small rotatable solar panel on the top of the dome supplying energy to a storage device, which in turn transmitted energy to the mechanical movement. A Swiss patent was awarded to Patek Philippe for clocks fitted with photo-electric cells. Patek Philippe's idea for a light-powered horological mechanism was to introduce additional electronic storage – an accumulator that provides the energy to wind the spring. The photoelectric cells can either store their energy electronically in the accumulator, or mechanically by winding the spring. When the mechanism is fully wound, the cells switch over to charge the accumulator.

    According to research, the first fully operational dome clock left the manufacture in 1953. As a mainstay and crown jewel within the manufacture’s collection, the production remained very small in due part to the enamellers’ painstaking enameller’s work to complete the case’s decoration. Usually dedicated to nature, mythical creatures and even history, the present dome clock, from 1956 displays an unusual abstract scene. Titled “Abstract in blue, grey and red” in the Patek Philippe Archives, it represents some of the finest cloisonné work of the mid 1950s. The abstract nature of this clock uses form, color, and line that are typical of the period and remind us of paintings by Miro or ceramic furniture design of the mid-century.

    To the best of our knowledge, this dome clock represents one of the very earliest examples to have been produced by the Geneva manufacture. In excellent overall condition it is a must-have for the discerning connoisseur seeking to own one of Patek Philippe’s rarest and most prestigious timepieces.

  • Maker Bio

    Patek Philippe

    Swiss • 1839

    Since its founding in 1839, this famous Geneva-based firm has been surprising its clientele with superbly crafted timepieces fitted with watchmaking's most prestigious complications. Traditional and conservative designs are found across Patek Philippe's watches made throughout their history — the utmost in understated elegance.

    Well-known for the Graves Supercomplication — a highly complicated pocket watch that was the world’s most complicated watch for 50 years — this family-owned brand has earned a reputation of excellence around the world. Patek's complicated vintage watches hold the highest number of world records for results achieved at auction compared with any other brand. For collectors, key models include the reference 1518, the world's first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph, and its successor, the reference 2499. Other famous models include perpetual calendars such as the ref. 1526, ref. 3448 and 3450, chronographs such as the reference 130, 530 and 1463, as well as reference 1436 and 1563 split seconds chronographs. Patek is also well-known for their classically styled, time-only "Calatrava" dress watches, and the "Nautilus," an iconic luxury sports watch first introduced in 1976 as the reference 3700 that is still in production today.

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169

Ref. 730
An extremely fine, highly attractive and unique gilt brass solar powered dome clock with cloisonné enamel abstract scene and presentation box

1956
210mm Height
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF100,000 - 200,000 
€89,100-178,000
$101,000-201,000

Place Advance Bid

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+ 41 79 637 1724
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019