A very rare and highly attractive yellow gold and blue guilloche enamel skeletonized open face pocket watch with original certificate of origin

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1981
    Reference No: 899
    Movement No: 937'044
    Case No: 2'791'319
    Model Name: Squelette
    Material: 18K yellow gold and blue guilloche enamel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 17-170, 18 jewels
    Dimensions: 47mm Diameter
    Signed: Movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by original Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin. Further accompanied by extract from the Archives confirming production of the present skeletonized watch in 1981 and its subsequent sale on March 2nd, 1982.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Since its founding in 1839, Patek Philippe has been at the forefront of both technical innovation and original design aesthetics. They produced some of the most exquisite decorative pocket watches with elaborate enamel landscapes, portraits and geometric designs, and this tradition continues with Patek Philippe to the present day.

    The present pocket watch from 1981 is a wonderful representation of the unparalleled skill and design prowess of which Patek Philippe is capable - even in the modern day. A masterwork of watchmaking, skeletonizing, and enameling, this watch is an impressive 47mm in diameter but incredibly thin, with its elegant profile matched only by the barely-there movement. The caliber 17-170 is finely engraved with an elaborate motif both to the front and back, which is seen through the two crystals, demonstrating the highly skilled workmanship of Patek Philippe’s master watchmakers. It is therefore a very rare reference, and accordingly, this is only the second known example to ever appear at auction.

    Preserved in superb original condition having just returned from movement servicing at the Patek Philippe manufacture, the case remains unpolished with very crisp hallmarks found on the winding stem. The vibrant blue enamel, with underlying guilloché, is perfectly intact without any losses or areas of prior repairs. The enamel work is highlighted by tasteful golden fleur de Lis, adding a royal aura to the watch. The watch is a wonderful representation of Patek Philippe’s traditional master work, with a long and storied history. While some collectors may feel the pocket watch is an anachronism, they are horological works of art and the present lot is an outstanding opportunity for the connoisseur.

  • Maker Bio

    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. 899
A very rare and highly attractive yellow gold and blue guilloche enamel skeletonized open face pocket watch with original certificate of origin

1981
47mm Diameter
Movement signed

Estimate
$30,000 - 60,000 
CHF29,800-59,700
€27,200-54,400
HK$235,000-469,000

sold for $75,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

GAME CHANGERS

New York Auction 10 December 2019