A very fine, extremely unusual and possibly unique yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with teardrop lugs

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1941
    Reference No: 533
    Movement No: 862'670
    Case No: 624'986
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 23 jewels, stamped with the Geneva Seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather bracelet
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 33mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1941 with silvered dial, raised yellow gold hour markers, tachymeter scale and original teardrop lugs, and its subsequent sale on January 7, 1942.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present wristwatch is without a doubt one of the most unusual creations by Patek Philippe. The last time it was publicly sold was at the legendary “The Art Of Patek Philippe” sale. Held in 1989 in celebration of the watchmaker’s 150th anniversary, this auction was the very first thematic watch sale in the world, offering the finest pieces at the time present on the market. It had since then disappeared from public view, until today.

    Not only this watch is a special request based on the reference 533 Calatrava-style case, but it furthermore appropriates an aesthetic canon - the teardrop or “Cornes de Vache” lug shape - which is in fact a defining feature of one of Patek Philippe’s main competitor: Vacheron Constantin. A passing glance would easily trick the beholder into thinking they are admiring a Vacheron Constantin reference 6087, before realizing that the pushers are square, not round, and that the signature on the dial is Patek Philippe’s.

    While the genesis of this watch is shrouded in mystery, one consideration can be made with certainty: that the original buyer had to be an extremely distinguished Patek Philippe client in order to be granted such an unusual demand. Patek Philippe hardly ever accepts special requests, and when they do it is only for extremely important patrons. One can only imagine the influence the buyer must have had within the company in order to obtain a bespoke timepiece.

    Combining unattainable rarity, extremely unusual custom-made design, and a fully certified Patek Philippe pedigree, it is no exaggeration to describe this timepiece as one of the most fascinating and important chronograph wristwatches ever produced by the brand.

  • 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. 533
A very fine, extremely unusual and possibly unique yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with teardrop lugs

1941
33mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF80,000 - 160,000 
€70,400-141,000
$81,900-164,000

sold for CHF131,250

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018