A most probably unique, highly attractive and large stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer dial and luminous numerals

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1947
    Reference No: 565
    Movement No: 864'986
    Case No: 639'984
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 120SC, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp signed Patek Philippe
    Dimensions: 35mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by an Extract from the Archives confirming manufacture in 1947 and subsequent sale on April 13, 1961

  • Catalogue Essay

    Patek Philippe's reference 565 is most certainly one of the most iconic time-only watches from the 1940s to bear the prestigious Geneva based marque's name on the dial. A robustly built yet gorgeous dress watch, we wouldn’t go as far as saying that reference 565 is a sports watch, but due to its case construction, it certainly is a timepiece designed to cater to a public with a growing interest in outdoor activities. This model is not only fitted with a screw down caseback - something of a rarity in the 1940s - but also features an inner soft iron case serving to shield the movement from the adverse effects of magnetic fields. The case is composed of only two parts, constructed without the habitual snap-on bezel, further suppressing another entry point of dust and humidity. The present lot is not only unique as it is the only reference 565 known with a black "military" dial featuring luminous hands and numerals, but it also has a touching story behind it.
    The original owner of this timepiece was a night watchman for Patek Philippe who was gifted the present watch in recognition of his work and dedication. The dial with luminous numerals and hands was clearly made for ease of use in low light during the guard's night shifts. The owner obviously took great care of his timepiece and so did his son to whom it was subsequently passed on, as it is still in impeccable condition maintaining its strong beveled lugs, polished and brushed surfaces and still features the soft inner case that protects the movement from magnetic fields. Only 17 examples of the reference 565 in steel with central seconds are known to exist and the present lot is the only one with a black dial.
    The superb and original dial gives the timepiece a certain rugged adventure-laden charisma. It is extremely rare to find a dress watch from this era with this type of dial, more so a dial that has aged with such grace and elegance, the luminous hour markers and hands have turned a warm caramel color. The result is visually enchanting, exhibiting an appealing patina of a bygone era yet still so modern, over 50 years after the watch was gifted to the original owner. This unique reference 565 not only attracts because of its overall exceptional condition and its unique "military" dial, but also the emotionally charged story behind it, that of a night watchman who receives a unique Patek Philippe timepiece, made specially for him, in recognition of his integrity and hard work.

  • 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. 565
A most probably unique, highly attractive and large stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer dial and luminous numerals

1947
35mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF200,000 - 400,000 
€184,000-367,000
$206,000-412,000

sold for CHF322,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016