Important Collectors Watches, Pocket ...

Geneva, May 10, 2009

LOT 161

THE STEEL 1436 SPLIT - FIRST APPEARANCE AT AUCTION Ref. 1436, Stainless Steel Split-Seconds Chronograph, one of four known examples, of which only three have survived; one of only two stainless steel First Generation watches known to exist today. Patek Philippe & Co, Genève, movement No. 863056, case No. 630772, Ref. 1436. Made in 1945, sold on May 11th, 1949. Extremely fine and exceptionally rare wristwatch, one of four known examples made in stainless steel, with square button split-seconds chronograph, 30-minute register, and tachometer. Accompanied by the Extract from the Archives and a Patek Philippe box.

CHF 600,000 - 800,000

USD 525,000 - 700,000 / EUR 400,000 - 525,000

Sold: CHF 1,244,800

C. Three-body, solid, polished and brushed, concave bezel and lugs, snap-on case back, start/stop push-button at 2, return to zero at 4, pushing the winding crown controls the start and rejoin for the split-seconds function. D. Brushed silver with applied steel baton indexes and Roman 12 and 6 numerals, subsidiary seconds and 30-minute register dials, outer minute track with concentric fifths of a second divisions, Arabic five-second numerals, outermost tachometer graduation. Stainless steel baton hands. M. Cal. 13???, rhodium-plated, fausses côtes decoration, 25 jewels, straightline lever escapement, monometallic balance adjusted to 8 positions, self-compensating Breguet balance spring with overcoil, micrometer regulator. Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 33 mm. Thickness 12 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2

Very good

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original


The present watch has never previously been offered for sale at auction and as such represents perhaps a unique opportunity to acquire a 1436 in stainless steel. It is thought that only four were ever made in stainless steel and one of these has since been re-cased in gold. This watch is one of only two reference 1436 watches in stainless steel that belong to the earlier series without co-axial button in the crown, and the only example of a steel 1436 of any series that has a ?pure? classic dial with tachometer without retailer signature.
Ref 1436 in Stainless Steel The majority of the split-seconds chronograph wristwatches of reference 1436 were made in yellow gold. Rarely, they are found in pink gold, and only four stainless steel examples including the present watch were made, although one of these no longer exists in its original form. All of the stainless steel reference 1436 were originally sold in Italy. The other two surviving watches were sold by Antiquorum:
Movement No. 862534 - Geneva, April 10, 1994, lot 431. (First generation, dial also signed for Astrua Torino) Movement No. 862321 - Geneva, April 23, 1995, lot 457. (Second generation with pulsation scale)
The first generation models of reference 1436 to which only the present watch and one other (No. 862534) in stainless steel belong has the feature of stop and reunite functions of the split-second hand controlled by depressing the winding crown. In the second generation the stop and reunite functions of the split-second hand are controlled by a co-axial button in the winding crown.
According to our research, in March 1945 the retail price for the reference 1436 in steel was 1,415 Swiss Francs; the gold cased version sold at 1,900 Francs.
The Split-Seconds Chronograph was designed to time two events which begin simultaneously but conclude at different times, as well as a single event for which an intermediate timing is necessary, such as horse or automobile races. Patek Philippe was one of the first firms to introduce split-seconds chronographs, as early as 1862. The split-seconds mechanism employs two central chronograph hands. Both hands are started at the same time. The split-seconds hand can be stopped while the chronograph hand continues to move. The split-seconds hand can be reunited with the chronograph hand in order to time another event. This complication is especially useful during sporting events such as a horse race, a car race or a ski race.