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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1973
    Reference No: 3589
    Movement No: 1'285'553
    Case No: 529'186
    Model Name: Ellipse
    Material: 18K white gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 28-255, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Patek Philippe buckle
    Dimensions: 33mm Diameter x 35mm Length
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, strap, and buckle signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by a Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives and a modern Patek Philippe leather pouch.

  • Catalogue Essay

    What do The Sacrament of the Last Supper by Salvador Dali, La Courbusier’s “Villa Stein”, a pineapple, and Patek Philippe’s Ellipse all have in common? It is the mystical, but very real and present, golden ratio – sometimes called the divine proportion and expressed numerically with 1.618. It was first defined by Euclid as “a straight line…said to have been cut in extreme and mean ratio when, as the whole line is to the greater segment, so is the greater to the lesser.” The golden ratio can be seen in nature, but it has often been employed in art, architecture, and music to enhance the balance and beauty of a composition.

    Patek Philippe introduced the Ellipse model in 1968 as an ode to the golden ratio and celebrating the more flamboyant tastes of the 1960s. The present “Grand Ellipse” reference 3589 was introduced in 1970, and was the very first Patek Philippe reference to be fitted with the caliber 28-255. Widely regarded as one of the finest automatic calibers ever produced, it was developed jointly with Jaeger-LeCoultre by the so-called “Holy Trinity” of horology: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin. The world’s thinnest full-rotor, self-winding movement at the time, with a mere 2.45mm thickness, the winding rotor is wrought in beryllium with a 21 karat gold rim. The JLC caliber 920 ébauche would be used a few years later in Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak, and Vacheron Constantin’s 222 – the triumvirate of pioneering luxury steel sports watches.

    The alternating Roman numerals and stick indexes are engraved into the dial, rather than applied, adding depth and texture to the shimmering blue gold satin-finished dial. The ‘SWISS’ designation below 6 o’clock is flanked by two priori or “sigma” marks, indicating that the elements of the dial and the hands are manufactured in solid gold. The dial is surrounded by a thin frame of polished white gold and then stepped to a flatter, brushed finished bezel. Notable in the design of the Ellipse is the lack of lugs, as the strap is attached directly to two posts to the back of the case and gives a seamless appearance when on the wrist.

    Generously donated by the founder of Collectability, John Reardon, the present Ellipse is presented in beautiful, original condition and comes accompanied with a Patek Philippe leather envelope.

    This watch is being sold to benefit the Horological Society of New York’s ongoing education initiatives, in support of international traveling and virtual education programs, scholarships for students of watchmaking, and awards to watchmaking schools.

  • 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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Lot offered with No Reserve

Ref. 3589
A very fine, rare, and unusual white gold cushion-shaped wristwatch with blue Roman-numeral dial, sold to benefit the Horological Society of New York’s ongoing education initiatives

33mm Diameter x 35mm Length
Case, dial, movement, strap, and buckle signed.

$4,000 - 6,000 

Please note that once you've placed your bid,
it cannot be cancelled.

Contact Specialist

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Timepieces for HSNY: Online Charity Auction

Online Auction 7 - 14 June 2021