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  • Condition Report

  • Description

    View our Conditions of Sale.

  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1938
    Reference No: 533
    Movement No: 862’084
    Case No: 617’894
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13’’’, 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K pink gold Patek Philippe buckle
    Dimensions: 33mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a photocopy of Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1938 with silvered dial, enamel and gold hour markers, and tachymeter scale, and subsequent sale on October 17th, 1938.

  • Catalogue Essay

    First released in 1937, Patek Philippe’s reference 533 with its Calatrava case, flat bezel and elongated lugs is a chronograph instantly recognizable for its masculine contemporary appeal. In production for almost 20 years, research indicates only approximately 150 examples are known today making it one of the rarest chronograph models by the brand. Elevating the importance of the present watch, it is believed only 12 examples of the ref. 533 were fitted with a sector, or aviator’s, dial with the present watch being one of only six known to the market.

    The sector dial has been in use by various Swiss manufacturers for approximately the last 100 years. The first known examples were found on pocket watches at the turn of the century, however as early as 1910 they began to appear on wristwatches, in particular during the First World War used by aviators. The design is a wonderful mix of the Art Deco and Bauhaus schools with two concentric circles, one for hours, and the other for minutes with radial lines creating the sectors. Often the dials were enhanced by various scales like a tachymeter or telemeter. These provided a functionality for aviators during the war, and their tool-like capability would later be of use in manufacturing and the early and growing motor sport field. The sector dial was popular during the 1930s, 40s and 50s, but gradually fell out of favour, however are now popular once again, as exemplified by Patek Philippe’s release of the reference 5296 with sector dial in 2005.

    The present example from 1938 is extremely well-preserved and offered for the first time at auction. The correct long signature dial, with applied gold ‘12’ and ‘6’ hour markers, is stunning, with all of its original raised hard enamel printing remaining perfectly crisp. Even the comma between ‘Patek’ and ‘Philippe’, and the accent mark in ‘Genève’ remain intact. The case is equally well-preserved, with its gold hallmarks remaining crisp. The very contemporary and masculine look of this watch along with its freshness to the market makes this watch a treasure for any collector.

  • 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. 533
An extremely rare and very attractive yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with sector dial and tachymeter scale

1938
33mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
$40,000 - 80,000 
CHF37,300-74,700
€35,600-71,300
HK$312,000-624,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293

[email protected]

 

The 2021 New York Watch Auction

New York Auction 11 - 12 December 2021