An extremely rare and elegant tonneau-shaped yellow gold wristwatch with hinged case

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1908 / 1920
    Movement No: 147'144
    Case No: 285'620
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 12'''
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt pin buckle
    Dimensions: 47mm long
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming date of manufacture in 1908 and subsequent sale on June 15, 1920
    Literature: A similar watch is featured in "Patek Philippe" by Huber and Banbury p.103

  • Catalogue Essay

    The tonneau-shaped wristwatch is one of the most distinct and distinguished case designs ever produced, and one historically linked to the earliest beginnings of wristwatch manufacturing. Early wristwatches were often pocket watches with lugs soldered to the case, but the first true wristwatch was a creation unto its own. These were timepieces meant to be worn on the wrist, and the long elegant slope of the tonneau-shape fit more appropriately on the wrist than the larger rounded form of the pocket watch. It is interesting to note that polite society saw the wristwatch as an infringement on everyday norms. In 1913, the Revue Internationale de l’Horologerie Suisse published an article “Can the Wristwatch be a Good Timekeeping Instrument?”. It was not until after World War II that the wristwatch became part of our daily accessories.
    There are several theories as to why the tonneau-shaped watch came into existence. Some believe it was the desire to create a new form and make a clean break from tradition. Others proposed a more practical reason, with the top and bottom of the case allowing for the strap to sit flat and not rub against the case, which happened with converted pocket watches.
    The present lot is a superb example of the flamboyance of Patek Philippe’s Art Deco modern style. The large curved case with finely guilloché dial is a disruptive break from the horological codes of the past and established a new genetic code for the future. So timeless is its style that, in 2008, Patek Philippe reintroduced this tonneau-shaped wristwatch within the Gondolo collection with the reference 5098. This lovely Patek Philippe wristwatch is a fine example of one of the earliest models of the wristwatch. Manufactured some 100 years ago, it isone out of the 19 oversized Patek Philippe tonneau models known. It remains in stunning, original overall condition with a beautifully aged dial having taken on a warm, aubergine hue. A hardly ever seen early Patek Philippe wristwatch that is a true treasure for the collector.

  • 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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An extremely rare and elegant tonneau-shaped yellow gold wristwatch with hinged case

1908 / 1920
47mm long
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF40,000 - 60,000 
€36,700-55,100
$41,200-61,800

sold for CHF68,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016