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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1924
    Movement No: 198'381
    Case No: 416'638
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: TO 22''', 16 jewels
    Dimensions: 57 mm. diameter steel case, 60 mm. diameter gold case
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: With Patek Philippe additional gold case, enamel dial, hands, fitted Patek Philippe presentation box. With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming the production of the present openface watch with one minute tourbillon regulator in stainless steel in 1924 and its subsequent sale on October 22nd, 1935.
    Literature: This watch is prominently featured in Patek Philippe Steel Watches by John Goldberger, page 22 and 23.

    For the only other known stainless steel openface watch with tourbillon that is in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, please see Exposition de la fabuleuse collection privée de Patek Philippe , 100 fig. 487.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present watch, a stainless steel openface watch with one minute tourbillon regulator was manufactured in 1924, mounted in a yellow gold case bearing the case number 416638 and sold on October 22 1935. The watch was entered for the Geneva Astronomical Observatory for the timing contest on February 3 1931, where it was awarded the first prize.

    The movement is Extra quality and stamped twice with the Geneva seal, and the movement number is signed twice as with all Observatory tested watches. The one minute tourbillon steel cage and central jewel carried in a gold screwed châton was fabricated by the celebrated watchmaking, James C. Pellaton (1873-1954). The sector dial is two-toned, and finished with black enamel batons and Arabic numerals, the outer minute track with subsidiary seconds.

    This masterpiece is further accompanied by its original additional yellow gold case with hidden hinge, additional white enamel dial with Breguet numerals and spare blued steel hands.

    There are many fascinating and historically important aspects about this watch. When held in one's hand, one can immediately marvel at its importance. The rarity is immediately enhanced when we realize that it is the only known stainless steel tourbillon still in private hands. The dial is in exceptionally well preserved condition. With its hard enamel printing and two-tone sector finish, the appreciation further extends to the collectors of Patek Philippe vintage wristwatches.

    Perhaps the most important feature of this watch is that it was one of the only Observatory tested tourbillons to be fitted and sold in the same period of its testing. The majority of Observatory tourbillons are cased and sold some thirty, forty or even fifty years later.

    The Patek Philippe Stainless Steel Observatory Tourbillon

    Obtaining first prize in the Observatory testing in Geneva in 1931, the present watch is the only known stainless steel tourbillon in private hands. Only one other example of a stainless steel tourbillon is known and is on display at the Patek Philippe museum.

    Exceptional quality, this tourbillon is further enhanced by the additional gold case, dial and hands which is prominently illustrated in Patek Philippe Stainless Steel Watches by the famed John Goldberger. Further distinguishing this incredible horological work of art, the watch was sold and cased very soon after testing, a mere four years. The majority of other tourbillon watches were tested, and the movement then remained with the firm for another 20, 30 or even 40 years and cased and sold decades after testing to their most prestigious clients.

    The sector dial truly finishes this magnificent watch and opens the market not only to collectors of historically important pocket watches but will draw the attention of the most astute wristwatch collectors.

  • Artist Biography

    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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315

An extremely rare and historically important stainless steel tourbillon openface watch with one minute tourbillon regulator awarded the first prize at the Geneva Astronomical Observatory for the timing contest on February 3, 1931 with two zone sector dial, additional yellow gold case, dial, hands and fitted presentation box

1924
57 mm. diameter steel case, 60 mm. diameter gold case
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$3,900,000 - 8,000,000 

Sold for HK$4,840,000

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
[email protected]

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
[email protected]

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: ONE

Hong Kong Auction 1 December 2015 11am