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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1937
    Reference No: 96
    Movement No: 827'982
    Case No: 615'055
    Model Name: Calatrava
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 12-120SC, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Patek Philippe leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 31mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed by maker, dial furthermore signed by retailer
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1937 with black dial, raised Arabic steel numerals at 3,6,9,12 and white indexes and its subsequent sale on January 24, 1938

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the 17th century the “Age of Discovery” came to an end, humanity having mapped and discovered pretty much the entirety of the globe.
    A similar feeling can at time be felt in the watch collecting community nowadays: after decades of exciting new discoveries, is it possible that all that was to be found has in fact been found?
    Luckily, watchmaking is an enormously diverse field and - as the present piece testifies - apparently there still are tiny uncharted islands in the ocean of watch collecting, and boys do they harbour treasure for the Magellans who discover them.

    The present timepiece can be considered a compendium of the traits most sought-after on vintage time only Patek Philippe timepieces. 
It sports an incredibly well-preserved and fully unmolested steel case (even retaining the original crown).
    It features the very early, rare and sought-after indirect center seconds caliber.
    And, most obviously, it is blessed with an incredible black dial with white sectorial graphics, applied steel Arabic numerals and co-signed by Milan retailer Eberhard - all the graphic details fully confirmed by the Archives. The aesthetics and rarity of this dial would be enough to leave the most demanding collectors speechless but it furthermore arrives to this days without any kind of scratch or restoration and preserved in unparalleled condition: it would be virtually impossible to find a better preserved dial from this age.

    Reference 96 is considered the first model bearing a reference number. In production from 1932 to 1973, it features a remarkable evolution. Early pieces feature early 12’’’ movement repurposed from unsold pendant or wrist-watches. In 1934, cal 12’’’120 was lunched and from 1935 until 1950 it powers the model. Cal 12’’’120 features second at 6, but some examples - such as the present piece - are upgraded with center seconds via a two-gear train added to the back of the movement - easily recognisable when the caseback is removed. Such modification is very rare and highly appealing to the collector, and can be found until 1949 when instead the integrated cal. 27SC was employed on center seconds examples. Finally, in 1950 a specific reference (2457) was used to define ref. 96 models featuring center seconds.

  • 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. 96
An exceptional, highly important and possibly unique stainless steel wristwatch with indirect center seconds and black sector dial with white graphics, retailed by Eberhard - Milan

1937
31mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed by maker, dial furthermore signed by retailer

Estimate
CHF80,000 - 120,000 
€74,100-111,000
$87,200-131,000

Sold for CHF378,000

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724
[email protected]

The Geneva Watch Auction: XII

Geneva Auction 6 - 7 November 2020