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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1926/1950
    Reference No: 824
    Movement No: 193'476
    Case No: 647'237
    Model Name: "Observatory Chronometer"
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, "Extra Quality", 23 jewels
    Dimensions: 49 mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed. Inside case further engraved "N° 193476 made especially for J.B. Champion Jr. by Patek Philippe & Co, Geneva, Switzerland"
    Accessories: With Extract from the Archives confirming that the movement was made in 1926 and later cased in 1950, the watch being subsequently sold on April 5th, 1950. Also accompanied by a copy of the Extract from the Service Chronométrique de l'Observatoire de Genève confirming the participation of this watch in the 1934 Observatory Competition and two timing sheets.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the world of watches, observatory chronometers are extremely rare. The present 19’’’ movement was made in 1926, and later encased and sold in 1950.

    The engraving “Extra” on the movement is of the absolute finest grade Patek Philippe sells to the public. Due to the size of the movement and the Guillaume balance, the case size is larger than those typically seen in the 1920s. The Guillaume balance uses a special nickel-based alloy, that when combined with brass and a steel hairspring, remains unaffected by temperature changes - perfect for maritime environments and the rigorous tests of Observatory trials.

    It comes as no surprise that the present watch was actually made for Mr. J.B. Champion Jr., an avid watch collector with an obsession for precise time-keeping.

    J.B. Champion Jr., was a world renowned criminal defense attorney. Although there are no records indicating how many Patek Philippe watches he acquired over the span of his life, it has been said by friends that "he would spend his last dollar on a Patek Philippe", which leads us to assume his collection extended further than the three watches that have appeared at auction to date. His watches were sold by his family in the 1970s with no trace as to what was in his collection. Today we rely on the inscriptions he so longingly desired.

    The timeless design, massive diameter and wonderfully preserved condition, are presented with the Extract from the Register of the Observatoire de Genève and Extract from the Archives, combined with the exceptional quality of the movement make it a perfect watch for pocket watch and Chronometer collectors.

  • 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. 824
An extremely rare and historically important yellow gold open face watch with Guillaume balance and observatory rating, made for J.B. Champion Jr.

1926/1950
49 mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed. Inside case further engraved "N° 193476 made especially for J.B. Champion Jr. by Patek Philippe & Co, Geneva, Switzerland"

Estimate
CHF7,000 - 12,000 

Sold for CHF50,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

Geneva Watch Auction: TWO

Geneva Auction 7 & 8 November 2015 6:30pm