Christie's will be auctioning American banker Henry Graves Jr.'s first ever minute repeating wristwatch by Patek Philippe and the only known Gobbi retailed ref. 2523 with translucent blue enamel in Geneva on November 11 and Hong Kong on November 27.
Henry Graves Jr.'s (1868-1953) unique yellow gold tonneau minute repeating wristwatch of 1927 is the first and earliest in his collection of approximately 30 watches by the prestigious Swiss manufacturer Patek Philippe. It is also the brands earliest known minute repeating wristwatch.
Specially commissioned and delivered in 1928, the watch was discovered in 2012 in the estate of Graves's grandson, Reginald H. Fullerton Jr. The watch was specially made for Graves and engraved with the Graves coat of arms.
This wristwatch embodies the taste and imagination of one of the greatest watch patrons of the 20th century. It is now ready for the next chapter in its extraordinary journey at an estimate of CHF 3,000,000-5,000,000 (Swiss currency).
Made in 1953 and sold in April 1957 to Patek Philippe's distinguished retailer Gobbi in Milan, the reference 2523 is part of an exceedingly small series of dual crown world time wristwatches (estimated at $7,000,000-14,000,000). It is thought that only seven reference 2523 dual-crown world time wristwatches in pink gold were ever made.
It is the only known example of reference 2523 to be double signed by both Patek Philippe and Gobbi. It is only the fifth pink gold reference 2523 ever to be offered at auction and one of only two known pieces to have the translucent blue enamel centre to the dial, fully confirmed by Patek Philippe's Extract from the Archives.
The beauty of the case and dial design is matched only by the complexity of the inner workings of the watch, the revolutionary world time system - or "Heures Universelles" designed and patented in the early 1930s by legendary watchmaker Louis Cottier.