An in-depth 18-page report on the dial and this piece is included in the sale of this piece by Eric Tortella, the foremost specialist in Vintage Patek Philippe, a leading specialist consultant for the major auction houses, brands and museums, will be delivered with the watch. This report goes through every aspect in absolute detail and confirms the unique nature of the piece. The piece will also be supported by the Extract from the Archives from Patek Philippe, leather Patek Philippe wallet, a valuation certificate for the purpose of insurance and our 12-month warranty. This wonderful, unique 1944 Patek Philippe 1579 features an important, unique dial. Being one of the very first reference 1579’s ever produced, this piece features a beautiful bombé dial made by Stern Fréres for Patek Philippe in 1944 featuring a matt silvered plate with applied gold arabic 12 and 6 hour markers, long thin enamel indexes and enamel 1/5th seconds track hand engraved and hard enamelled. This piece also features beautiful gold ‘feuille’ hands and enamel Patek Philippe & Co, short no comma signature. What makes this piece particularly special when compared to the already extremely rare 1st series mark 1 rail dials of early 1579s from the 1940’s is the extremely rare tachometer scale. This piece displays an extremely rare closed 900 base track chronograph scale
Such features (1st series, mark 1 dial, no comma signature, railway track dial, 900 scale) is only otherwise seen on 1 of the 3 pieces ever produced in Platinum (movement no. 867'005, case no. 645'566) which tachymeter scale follows the same base 900 scale on a closed track as this piece. The dial on this watch and the Platinum previously mentioned are almost identical, the only separating factor is that this piece features an additional ring of enamel to the inside of the 1/5th seconds ‘railway’ track, making it unique in it's own right. Where the 1/5th seconds railway on the Platinum piece is open, this piece is a closed complete ‘railway’ track. This is therefore the only piece known to the market in this configuration and is unique. An image of this piece and the Platinum side by side can be seen in the images and an in depth analysis and confirmation of both this dial and the Platinum iteration is included in the report that accompanies this sale. When selling the Platinum piece, Christies referred to the rare nature of the scale and dial with the below whilst referencing the differences with the other two pieces in Platinum:
"On top of that, close examination reveals that all the three known references 1579 in platinum are fitted with different dials:"case no. 645'564 with an "American" dial calibrated in miles and the tachometer scale with the speed numbers "sitting" on the scale
"case no. 645'565 with a "European" dial highlighted by prominent comma markings on the right half of the tachometer scale in-between the numbers
"case no. 645'566, the present watch, with a very different dial design where the tachometer scale is nearer to the inner fifths of a second ring, allowing to place the numbers ranging from 900 to 130 vertically pointing towards the centre and, to balance the dial, with enlarged numbers "looking" towards the centre going from 120 to 60. Most amazingly, the hour markers and ring with the fifth-of-a-seconds calibration are in dark blue hard enamel - opposed to black."
Most 1579's feature a dial with square faceted hour markers. Early iterations feature a dial similar to this piece (mark 1) with enamelled baton markers. However, in those early mark 1 examples, pieces are seen to have a 'base 1000' or 600 base dial, for a tachymeter scale over a kilometre or mile respectively. The piece available here and the Platinum piece aforementioned are the only known pieces to feature such a configuration. Being produced in 1944 this piece is one of the very first 1579's to be produced, with very early serial. Being one of the first 1579's this piece has a bombé dial, rather than the flat dials of the later examples. This chronograph scale refers to 900 units per hour and it is understood that the application may be medical much like pulsation dials were, but in this case it is referring the the flow rate in administering medications intravenously, which the technology at the time and the use of pulsation dials.
As mentioned previously, this sale is accompanied by an in-depth 18-page report on the dial and this piece is included in the sale of this piece by Eric Tortella, the foremost industry specialist in Vintage Patek Philippe, a leading specialist consultant for the major auction houses, brands and museums, will be delivered with the watch. The piece will also be supported by the Extract from the Archives from Patek Philippe, leather Patek Philippe wallet, a valuation certificate for the purpose of insurance and our 12-month warranty.
The piece is in good mechanical order, it's cal. 13''', 23 jewels, mechanical movement is keeping excellent time and the chronograph functioning perfectly.
The case was serviced at some point as part of a full service in the watches history, receiving some polishing to the case. The facets of the spider lugs still present nicely. The polishing is only really of note to the underside and overall the case looks in nice vintage condition, having oxidised to a lovely pink patina in areas. The piece is on a lovely Patek brown crocodile leather strap with Patek Philippe vintage model 18k buckle.
The reference 1579 was introduced by Patek Philippe in 1943. The design is recognised by it's beautifully faceted 'spider' lugs, large case size, thick bezel and rectangular pushers. It's design at the time was somewhat radical and was considered so iconic that the reference continued to be produced until 1964, a production time of some 21 years, a very long run by the standards of most references. It is purported that in total, only 450 examples of the reference were created, they were produced in Yellow Gold, Rose Gold, Stainless Steel, Platinum and one example in a bimetal configuration of steel and yellow gold. This beautiful piece is the only one of it's configuration known to the market.
Brand: Patek Philippe
Diameter: 36mm excluding crown
Lug Width: 20mm interior width
Box/Papers: 18 Page Tortella Report, Extract from the Archives, Patek Philippe Travel Case