Patek Philippe - START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs Geneva Friday, May 13, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1954/1989
    Reference No: 1579
    Movement No: 868’784
    Case No: 660’237
    Model Name: “Anse a Ragno”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13’’’ 130, 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant buckle, stamped Patek Philippe
    Dimensions: 36mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by an Extract from the Archives confirming the date of production of the present watch in 1954 and its subsequent sale in 1956. It furthermore states that during a servicing at the firm’s workshops in 1989, the present stainless steel case was added.
    Literature: The present watch is prominently illustrated in Patek Philippe Steel Watches, John Goldberger, pg. 262-263.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Collectors of vintage Patek Philippe chronographs are most familiar with the firm’s landmark references: 130, 533, 591, 1463, 530 and 1579. The latter takes a somewhat unique position in this family, as it is the only model featuring fanciful lugs in the shape of briolette diamonds.

    Reference 1579 was predominantly manufactured in yellow gold and rose gold, with a very small number produced in stainless steel and even fewer in platinum. To date, we know of only seven examples in stainless steel, including the present one, making it one of the rarest gems in the world of vintage wristwatches.

    It is unknown how many steel references 1579 were ever made or even intended to be made. However, sometime during the second half of the 1980s, a small batch of unused steel cases and dials dating to the 1940s were discovered at Patek Philippe’s workshops. These were subsequently used to upgrade yellow or pink gold references 1579 belonging to the world’s most important collectors and faithful clients of the firm.

    The results of this “treatment” are simply stunning and breathtaking, as they gave a small number of elite collectors the opportunity to own and admire a stainless steel reference 1579 in the same condition it would
    have had after leaving the manufacturer’s workshop some 40 years earlier.

    The large 36mm diameter makes it even more popular today than when it was originally sold. The lugs are engraved internally with the numbers ‘237’, an important detail as it perfectly matches the last three digits of the case number, verifying the originality of the center case to the caseback.

    The lovely matte silver dial is fitted with applied white gold Arabic and square-facetted hour markers and an outer tachometer scale. The pairing of the timeless case and very classic dial design makes this watch an instant icon of 20th century chronograph design.

    Given the wristwatch’s supreme rarity, beauty, and importance, it comes
as no surprise that John Goldberger has prominently featured this watch in his respected tome dedicated to stainless steel Patek Philippe watches. Appearing for the first time at auction from one of the world’s most important collections, it is a true treasure for a discerning collector.

  • 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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Ref. 1579
An extremely rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with silvered matte dial, applied white gold Arabic and square facetted hour markers, downturned ‘spider’ lugs and tachometer scale.

36mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF450,000 - 900,000 

Sold for CHF677,000

Contact Specialist
Livia Russo
+41 22 317 81 86

START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs

Geneva Auction 14 May 2016