Patek Philippe - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII Hong Kong Thursday, November 25, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: Circa 2011
    Reference No: 1618M
    Case No: 1’804’886
    Model Name: “Fleurs des Montagnes”
    Material: Gilt brass and enamel
    Calibre: Quartz, cal. 33”’
    Dimensions: 210mm height
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Patek Philippe Dome Clocks are admirable, rare and fine handicrafts by the firm. Displaying intricate and traditional craftsmanship along with the manufacturer’s innovative electronics technology, each dome clock can be considered as unique works of art as each encapsulating a different motif are executed by hand by the finest artisans of our time.

    In 1948, Patek Philippe inaugurated its Electronic Division with the aim of researching photoelectric, electronic, and nuclear technology to power clocks. Within two years, the department succeeded in creating its first solar clock. The caliber 17-250 was fitted with a small rotatable solar panel on the top of the dome supplying energy to a storage device, which in turn transmitted energy to the mechanical movement. A Swiss patent was awarded to Patek Philippe for clocks fitted with photo-electric cells. Patek Philippe's idea for a light-powered horological mechanism was to introduce additional electronic storage – an accumulator that provides the energy to wind the spring. The photoelectric cells can either store their energy electronically in the accumulator or mechanically by winding the spring. When the mechanism is fully wound, the cells switch over to charge the accumulator.

    While the decorative elements are the key focus of a Patek Philippe dome clock, there are many different mediums used to create a motif. For enameling, Patek Philippe offers four of their master techniques including, cloisonné enamel, champlevé enameling, paillonné enameling, and miniature painting on enamel.

    The present Patek Philippe dome clock features the fine cloisonné enameling technique depicting a motif of “Fleurs des Montagnes” or “Mountain Flowers” in English. An extremely painstaking process, cloisonné enameling requires a fine gold wire that is bent to form the design of the motif and fixed on a panel or a plate coated with the base layer of enamel. After the first firing, the cells formed by the wire partitions are filled with selected enamels. According to the type of enamel used, the colours, and the intended effect, several successive firings may be needed. With each firing, details are fine-tuned, colors evolve, and the final effect is enhanced, the play of transparency and depth intensified. It is estimated that only 12 dome clocks are produced every year, making each unique examples very rare.

    Impressively decorated, the present ref. 1618M dome clock features a full enameled body and continued on the dial. Romanticized with each panel of the body depicting a different breed of mountain flowers, the first panel features a couple of Martagon lilies in pink distinctive with spotted petals with a widespread native extending from Portugal all the way through to Europe and Asia. The second panel displays a quadrant of violet-blue trumpet gentian flowers native to central and southern Europe that grows in mountainous regions such as the Alps. The third panel features three beautiful purple and yellow Iris flowers that are named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow. Lastly, domed atop is a large and beautifully centered silver thistle native to the central and southern regions of Europe. The dial is another mesmeric sight, beholding a fully decorated surface depicting four additional species of flowers including a yellow wolf’s bane flower, Blue Angel’s trumpet flower, Edelweiss, and some red flowers at the bottom right corner completing the four seasons of the “Fleurs des Montagnes”.

    Hailing from the collection of a famed European collector, Mr. Jean-Claude Biver, the present Patek Philippe Dome Clock ref. 1618M from circa 2011 is offered in pristine condition executed by little-known enameller M. Meuris.

  • 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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From the collection of Mr. Jean-Claude Biver


Ref. 1618M
An exquisite, rare and highly attractive cloisonné enamel dome clock displaying “Fleurs des Montagnes”

Circa 2011
210mm height
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$600,000 - 1,000,000 

Sold for HK$1,701,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII

Hong Kong Auctions 25-26 November 2021