A rare and attractive platinum rectangular shaped wristwatch with diamond-set flared sides and silvered dial, formerly the property of Maurice Chevalier

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1959
    Reference No: 2554
    Movement No: 977’393
    Case No: 696’399
    Model Name: "Manta Ray"
    Material: Platinum and diamonds
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 9-90, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Platinum mesh bracelet, max length 175mm, further accompanied by a leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Platinum folding clasp for the bracelet in platinum and platinum pin buckle for the leather strap
    Dimensions: 41mm Length, 26mm Width
    Signed: Case, dial,movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1959 with a platinum case set with 22 baguette-cut diamonds for a total of 1.03 ct. and platinum bracelet, and its subsequent sale on July 11, 1961.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present reference 2554 is nicknamed the “Manta Ray” thanks to its harmonious and fluid lines, evocative of the elegance of the princess of the seas. So influential and powerful is this design that when we think of the well-known modern Patek Philippe reference 5100, also referred to as the 10-day, we can trace its roots back to this model . Without any doubt, the case of the 5100, made to celebrate the year 2000, reinterpreted the dynamic, curved forms on the original 2554.

    An exceedingly rare reference in any metal, it’s especially rare in platinum with matching and correct platinum bracelet, and its rarity is elevated to a different level thanks to the baguette diamonds gracing the case, of which only 4 models are known to date. The tapered baguette diamonds set inside the flared sides of the case is highly unusual, and illustrates incredible craftsmanship.

    The present "Manta Ray" was part of the collection of celebrated French singer cum actor Maurice Chevalier. Offered for the first time in 2013 as part of the thematic sale of Mr. Chevalier’s collection, the watch case was set at the time with emeralds, but the new owner then reverted back to the original diamond setting of the watch (as confirmed by the Patek Philippe Extract).

    The 9-90 caliber giving life to the Manta Ray is a piece of art in its own right: a rectangular movement stamped with the Geneva seal, testimony to its superlative finish.

    Maurice Chevalier was a French singer and actor having risen to fame in the 1930s and performing well into the 1960s. His cinematographic career took him to Hollywood where he played with greats such Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

    A watch all in curves, the grace and refinement of the present timepiece along with its ultra-rarity, excellent condition and provenance present an opportunity not to be missed.

  • 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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Ref. 2554
A rare and attractive platinum rectangular shaped wristwatch with diamond-set flared sides and silvered dial, formerly the property of Maurice Chevalier

1959
41mm Length, 26mm Width
Case, dial,movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF25,000 - 50,000 
€21,400-42,900
$26,500-52,900

sold for CHF81,250

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 81
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

Geneva Auction 12-13 May 2018