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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1952
    Reference No: 1579
    Movement No: 868'370
    Case No: 668'558
    Material: 18k gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Black Patek Philippe crocodile strap
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k gold Patek Philippe buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming the production of the present watch in 1952 and its subsequent sale on July 10th, 1953.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced to the market in 1943, reference 1579 most notably features faceted lugs that have been dubbed "spider lugs" by collectors, due to their unusual shape. The model responds particularly badly to polishing, as even the lightest intervention dulls its sharp angles and facets. Compared to its sibling reference 130, it is decidedly more flamboyant in shape and character.

    One of the largest vintage chronograph wristwatches, the model was cased in yellow gold, pink gold, stainless steel and platinum.

    The present watch is one of the most important examples of the reference. Residing in one of the most important European collections for almost two decades since it last changed hands at auction, this superlative specimen boasts applied yellow gold Breguet numerals in lieu of the usual pyramid markers. To date, only one similar example featuring enamel Breguet numerals, with movement number 868'616 and case number 683'669, has appeared on the market. Thus, the present watch is most probably unique as no other example with this dial configuration has appeared on the auction market thus far.

    This watch most notably omits outer telemetre, pulsometre or tachymetre scales, giving space for the numerals to flourish. Breguet numerals are particularly favored by collectors due their unmistakably vintage appearance and aesthetic harmony. While regrettably the Patek Philippe Archives does not explicitly mention this dial configuration, it has to be pointed out how the dial of reference 1579 is different from that of most chronograph references of the time (130, 533, 591, 1463) due to its larger diameter. Only other two references can fit a similar dial: the very rare 530 and 1506. Thus, it is a highly educated guess that such dial is native to the timepiece. Additional credit is given to this thesis by the absolute rarity of such a dial configuration throughout all these references: only one similar dial is known, from a reference 530.

    Attention should be paid to its exceptional condition of preservation. Featuring angled facets along with contrasting polished and satin finishes, it displays crisp hallmarks on the case band and beneath the lug. The dial has aged to a warm vanilla tone over time, and the enamel signature remains strong and raised.

    It has been seven years since a reference 1579 with Breguet numerals has appeared on the market, and that example still holds the highest result for a yellow gold 1579. To offer the second known example, benefiting from a most probably unique dial configuration, presents an exceedingly rare opportunity to own a historically significant Patek Philippe chronograph wristwatch.

  • 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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Σ968

Ref. 1579
An important, probably unique and very attractive gold chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals

1952
36mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$1,200,000 - 2,400,000 
€131,000-261,000
$150,000-300,000

Sold for HK$3,220,000

Contact Specialist
Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: FIVE

Hong Kong Auction 28 November 2017