Wrist Chronicles;  A blade of rose light in the darkness.

Wrist Chronicles; A blade of rose light in the darkness.

November 27, 2017

A blade of rose light in the darkness

No other way to describe this “screaming” Chronograph ref. 1579 from the fifties! Yes, it doesn’t just sing...it screams! It’s like wearing Janis Joplin on your wrist. Of course, if you ever dare to wear it. Any damage would be considered a ”crime against horology” and severely punished by substantial loss of value, aside from your conscience drowning in guilt.

I’m comfortable in saying that I’ve never come across this beautiful model in such pristine condition. Any Patek Philippe connoisseur knows that this absolute design masterpiece is the most complicated case conceived in those days.

Only the Grand Master of Swiss case-makers, Wenger ( seriously, case maker number one...The Boss!) could deliver such an iconic geometry.Modern then, avant-garde today, it was produced from 1943 to 1964 in only 250 examples in yellow gold and 185 in rose...only one third of these have surfaced to public knowledge.

Only who owns one is allowed to call it “spider lugs”...I personally never identified this Patek with this nick-name, which I keep for the beautiful Vacheron chrono...but that’s another story. I would call it “tiger claws”, because that’s what it looks like when those lugs are unpolished and the razor-sharp faces, grab your wrist! Twisting the add...”you don’t possess this Patek Philippe...it possesses you”!After thirty years, I very rarely get shaken by a timepiece. In this case, I had to battle with myself about sharing it on our site. I’m not sure if having possessive feelings of jealousy about a watch is a good thing, but it does speak highly about the watch!

Back to literature. Out of the circa 70 rose 1579 identified, there is no knowledge of a Radium Dots luminous index dial, as stated on the extract from the Patek Philippe Archives. To our knowledge, this combination of unique dial configuration and stunning case condition is unprecedented. I’ve lost my sleep thinking about the uber-cool gentleman who on 12 December 1957 bought this watch after requesting this “command especial”,and most of all,why? What for? It was an incredibly expensive watch in those days. Gold, not steel...so it can’t be a tool watch. Especially with that delicate case. For that he would have gone for a steel 1463, no doubt!

It’s the fifties, everyone has electricity, even more if you can afford a bespoke rose Patek Philippe chrono! So it was probably a need for someone spending time in a rural area... a rich farmer in the US, maybe? The tachometer scale is based in km and rose gold was very popular in Latin-America, so I’m quite sure it was originally owned by an Argentine “Estanciero” or a “Fazendero” dealing in rubber in Manaus. Possibly sophisticated customers of Walser Wald or Freccero, or some other prestigious retailer from that area where Patek Philippe, during the first half of the twentieth century, delivered some of their most beautiful creations. Sophisticated and tough, those guys were the real thing! Attending opening of the Opera season in the Colon Theater of Buenos Aires, and a week later riding a horse back home at night, and in both occasions, reading time on this watch! I definitely can’t picture anything more “luxury vintage”than this!

A despicable watch-terrorist attempted to "hurt" the perfect ivory warm tone of the dial, scratching it in the center. Profetically, it was equipped with massive “dauphine” hands, that will distract your eye from that wound of ignorance. Aside from a minor and shy humidity stain on the exterior part of the dial at 10 o’clock, this watch is in it’s most original condition...a champion of it’s category, for sure.`

Max Bernardini

 

 

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WRIST CHRONICLES

"A BLADE OF ROSE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS"

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