Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces
Hong Kong, Oct 27, 2019
PATEK PHILIPPE REF. 4404-4, TWO-TIME ZONE, TWO MOVEMENTS, DIAMOND-SET BLACK ONYX DIAL; “DUAL-TIME” SO-CALLED “GEMINI”; 18K WHITE GOLD AND DIAMONDS
18K white gold, manual-winding, elongated horizontal rectangular-shaped with cut corners, two-time zone, gentleman’s wristwatch with two movements, case-back screwed by four screws, rounded bezel, diamond-set black onyx dial
Brand Patek Philippe
Year Circa 1978
Movement No. 1 242 798, 1 242 878
Calibre 13.5, adjusted to heat, cold, isochronism and 5 positions, Geneva Quality Hall Mark
Case No. 2 769 839
Bracelet integrated 18K white gold Patek Philippe linen-textured bracelet with clasp (by Jean-Pierre Ecoffey, Geneva)
Length 165 mm
Dimensions 22.9 x 34.8 mm
Signature Dial, Case and Movement
Accessories Extract from the archivies
HKD 360,000 - 400,000
CHF 44,750 - 49,700 / USD 45,000 - 50,000
Sold: HKD 450,000
Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense
The Extract from the Archives, dated September 25 2019, mentioned that this watch was sold on November 30, 1987. Patek Philippe, Reference 4404
Patek Philippe, Reference 4404 and variants This reference is launched in 1976 and remained in production until circa 1979. This elongated horizontal rectangular-shaped watch is fitted with two Cal. 13.5. The watch is made only in 18K white gold. Few examples were produced; only 8 recorded (all with variants). The watch is so-called “Gemini” by collectors. This “Dual-Time” was not – like other jewellery timepieces – present in the Patek Philippe catalogues because of its very small series production. This reference is so far known made only in 18K white gold case and always seen with integrated textured or mesh bracelet, sometimes welded to the case, sometimes welded over the bezel. These variations give a different aspect to the watch as well as the different types of dials used. This is how the Ref. 4404 has many variations, making each time the model unique (Ref. 4404-1, Ref. 4404-2, Ref. 4404-3, etc.). The case-back is designed to incorporate both movements of the watch. It is fixed to the case/bezel (two-piece case) by four screws, one at each cut corners. The cases were all produced by Les Ateliers Réunis, Geneva (Mater case-maker “key” number 28). The bracelets were made by Jean-Pierre Ecoffey, Geneva (Master hallmark “JPE”). The movements used are 13.5-320 calibres; the smallest ones made then, whose production began in 1959. The movements used in Ref. 4404 may sometimes have numbers recorded in production Books dating back to 1971 or 1972, which has often misled the dating of these pieces which are well created from 1976 onwards. It should also be noted that some of these watches were only sold in the late 1980s. As for the dials, they are made by Stern Frères, Geneva (Master hallmark “Star”). Most of the time, they are 18K gold plates with, in applique, semi-precious stone plates (black onyx, blue lapis-lazuli, green malachite, burgundy heliotrope jasper, etc.) and/or a precious pavé-set of brilliant-cut diamonds. Sometimes the dials are made of a single piece of semi-precious stone (malachite) or organicinorganic composite material (mother-of-pearl). The variants in the use of all these gemstones reinforce the uniqueness of each piece. To-date only 8 watches have reappeared on the art market (see list below). We can assume that only a few other watches exist, some of the variants that could have been made in two or three examples. The Patek Philippe Ref. 4404 is an unusual and very elegant example of two-time
zone wristwatch. The time reading is made very easy thanks to the two separate dials. If this “travel-time” watch was originally intended to be worn by men, its dimensions (25 x 35 mm.) now allow it to be worn by women as well. The Cal. 13.5-320 with “Gyromax” balance is illustrated by Huber & Banbery, 1998, p. 36, ill. 45. The eight Ref. 4404 known to date Ref. 4404-1 (diamond-set bezel, bracelet welded to the case), with lapis-lazuli and silver colour dial “Tuscany”-finished. No. 992 078 and No. 993 229 (case No. 2 769 143). No. 1 242 612 and No. 1 243 758 (case No. 2 769 841), made in 1978, sold on July 24, 1987.
Ref. 4404-1 (diamond-set bezel, bracelet welded over the bezel), with black onyx and silver colour dial “Tuscany”-finished. No. 1 249 337 and No. 1 249 571 (case No. 2 769 830), sold in 1978.
Ref. 4404-2 (bracelet welded over the bezel), with malachite and silver colour dial satin-finished. No. 982 480 and No. 983 356 (case No. 2 769 831), sold in 1978.
Ref. 4404-4 (bracelet welded to the case), with black onyx and diamond-pavé-set dial. No. 1 242 798 and No. 1 242 878 (case No. 2 769 839), made in 1978, sold on November 30, 1987.
Ref. 4404-5 (bracelet welded over the bezel), with mother-of-pearl dial (full plate). No. 1 243 876 and No. 1 244 534 (case No. 2 769 827), made in 1978, sold on August 30, 1986.
Ref. 4404-5 (bracelet welded over the bezel), with malachite dial (full plate). No. 1 245 565 and No. 1 245 586 (case No. 2 769 828), made in 1978, unrecorded date of sale. The present lot. Ref. 4404-? (diamond-set bezel, bracelet welded over the bezel), with diamondpavé-set dial with two triangular lapis-lazuli inserts. No. 996 544 and No. 997 855 (case No. 2 769 833), sold circa 1978.