Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1947
    Reference No: 1579
    Movement No: 867'258
    Case No: 67
    Model Name: "Spider Lugs"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, Cal. 13''' 130, 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a photocopy of the Patek Philippe Extract form the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1947 and its subsequent sale on September 2, 1948 and the case was provided by the customer.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced in 1943, Patek Philippe reference 1579 is distinguished by its angled lugs, which give the watch an incredible presence on the wrist. Unusual and fanciful, the model was a departure from Patek Philippe's normal Calatrava-inspired chronographs of the period. The size of the watch itself - 36mm - is also a departure from the restrained 33mm usually found on vintage Patek Philippe chronographs. In fact, only another standard production pure Patek Philippe vintage chronograph share this size - ref. 530.

    The present piece is however not only an enthralling representative of this model - furthermore graced by a superbly unrestored engraved/enameled dial which has acquired an incredibly warm patina over time. It is also a window into production methodology of the time. In fact, as stated by the Extract, the present case was supplied to Patek Philippe by the customer. Examination of the case highlights two details: 1) the execution of the case is exactly as expected from a ref. 1579, which means - especially in the case of such a complex case design - that technical drawings were shared with the producer and most likely the quality was tested against the company's benchmarks, so much so that the Patek Philippe stamp is present to the inside of the back, "legalizing" the case as if it was made by the company itself. 2) one can find the French assay mark for 18K gold (the eagle) and the Swiss import mark for 18K gold (the Lynx), thus confirming that the case was made in France, then imported into Switzerland and used to make this piece.

    The reason for Patek Philippe to have cases made outside their usual suppliers (and even in a different country in this case) is unclear. A possibility is that locally realized cases would decrease import duties on the watches but the fact that the case was imported in Switzerland defied this hypothesis, at least in this instance. While the true reason for the existence of Patek Philippe pieces with outsourced cases (this not being the only example known) will probably forever remain unknown, their intellectual attractiveness and supreme rarity undeniably renders them as intriguing as they are collectible.

  • 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. 1579
A fascinating and large yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with "spider lugs" and French case

36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF56,700

Contact Specialist

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021