Patek Philippe - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: TWO Hong Kong Monday, May 30, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1954
    Reference No: 2523/1
    Movement No: 724'317
    Case No: 313'051
    Material: 18k pink gold
    Calibre: Mechanical, 12'''400 HU, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Black crocodile leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k pink gold Patek Philippe buckle
    Dimensions: 36 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the movement of the present watch was manufactured in 1954, completed in 1965 and encased in 1966, and its subsequent sale on 17 May 1973.
    Literature: For another example of a reference 2523/1 cased in pink gold, please see Patek Philippe Museum, Patek Philippe Watches Volume II, page 346.

  • Catalogue Essay

    We are absolutely thrilled to present this exceptionally rare and highly important pink gold Double Crown World Time Patek Philippe wristwatch reference 2523/1, which is fresh to the market and previously unknown.

    In exceptional and unpolished condition, this pink gold 2523/1 is the second known example to be offered to public. The first example is fitted with a silver matte-finished center disc, and not a guilloché dial, such as the present watch. Sold at auction a staggering 18 years ago, the watch achieved a record breaking price of 665,000 US dollars.

    When introduced to the market in the early 1950’s, the Double Crown World Time was not a commercial success. As a result, very few pieces were manufactured and sold. Reference 2523 is divided into two variations. The first, reference 2523, is fitted with slightly larger lugs that sit higher above the bezel. The second, reference 2523/1, has a slightly larger diameter case. The lugs are slightly thinner and do not sit above the bezel like they do on reference 2523.

    The present 2523/1 is the second known example in pink gold to be offered at auction. To date, there are 9 yellow gold examples known. 5 are fitted with a guilloché center and 4 are fitted with a silver matte finished center disc.

    Scholars and collectors familiar with the auction market in the last 30 years are well aware of how rare it is for an arrival of a trophy watch. It has been 18 years since a comparable watch has appeared in the public arena. It is hard to say when, and if, another opportunity will ever arise again to acquire a pink gold Double Crown World Time by Patek Philippe.

    The World Time system was first invented in 1935 by master watchmaker Louis Cottier. At the time, the movement was used by watchmakers such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Vacheron Constantin. The ingenious system allowed the wearer to view multiple time zones. The dial was fitted with two discs, which could be easily adjusted to change and compare the time of various cities around the world. Reference 2523 was fitted with an additional crown at 9 o'clock to change time zones.

    Also known as "Hueres Universalles", the World Time system features Caliber CH 240 HU, and is usually accompanied with a special guilloché or enamel dial. Patek Philippe is particularly gifted at making beautiful and intricate designs. Their World Time wristwatches feature beautifully crafted enamel maps of Asia, Americas, Oceana and Europe or exceptionally crafted guilloché or engine turned centers. Other enamel designs included mythical dragons and symbols. Due to the World Time's unpopularity, very few examples were made, making the World Time extremely rare and incredibly collectable today.

    Reference 2523 was first launched in 1953. At the time, it was incredibly expensive to produce this reference due to the laborious process of creating both the movement and dial. In addition, the large case size and two crowns was an incredibly unusual look for the time period. The market had not seen such examples before, and the public did not take well to this new design. The 2523's predecessor, reference 1415, featured only one crown and had a much smaller case size. However, as scholarship grew and collectors became increasingly educated about the intricacies of creating such a masterpiece, reference 2523 has grown immensely in popularity over the years. Today, it has become a classic among esteemed and important collectors. To date, this reference achieves world record prices at auction and continues to astound and impress the watchmaking community.

    The present watch, reference 2523/1, is cased in pink gold and fitted with an engine-turned guilloché dial which features all 24 time zones of 41 cities. The movement was first manufactured in 1954, then completed in 1965 and cased in 1966. The watch was sold seven years later in 1973, illustrating how unpopular the watch was, at the time.

    This watch is in absolutely pristine and unpolished condition. The case features very sharp sides and deep faceted lugs, with a hallmark punched to the side of the case at 5 o'clock. There is a fat and wide bezel. The watch exhibits full and bold proportions and is in really exceptional condition. The dial has a two-tone finish, with a guilloché center and applied pink gold baton numerals, along with pink gold worldtime hands. The watch is furthermore previously unknown and fresh to the market.

    To our knowledge, there are only three pink gold examples in existence, with one example proudly displayed in the Patek Philippe museum, inventory number P-212.

  • 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. 2523/1
An extremely fine, highly important and previously unknown pink gold worldtime wristwatch with two crowns and two-tone dial

36 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$12,000,000 - 20,000,000 

Sold for HK$19,496,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

Ziyong Ho
+852 9386 2032

Jill Chen
+852 2318 2033

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: TWO

Hong Kong Auction 31 May 2016