Yes. I realize I could have called Jake's Patek Philippe World Jake's Patek Philippe Moonphase World ;-) Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all Patek Philippe models, but I am absolutely crazy/passionate/in-love with triple-date moon phase Patek Philippe watches. In particular, I am completely smitten and fascinated with the design language of all the early triple-date moon phase models, and this retrograde triple date is crazy/cool/stunning.
Update: John Goldberger from Italy, chimed in to say this watch was withdrawn from auction in Geneva in November 2001 because it was determined the case was not correct.
So yes, you figured it out, my goal is to document every single one of the variations of these watches. I basically want to know everything about everything about these beauties, and of course I am sharing all my findings with you!!! My goal is to document every single-solitary rare, obscure, esoteric, arcane, beautiful vintage Patek Philippe and showcase them in one place, as has never been done before.
I can't believe how timeless and beautiful this watch is!!!! This timeless art-deco beauty just takes my breath away!!!!
Finding historic photos of famous people wearing Patek Philippe watches is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
It is difficult to tell exactly which model watch Picasso is wearing in this photo. It is definitely a triple-date moon phase with the digital month and day aperture windows.
When I first saw the image my best guess was that Picasso was wearing an early Patek Philippe Reference 2497 like the one pictured below his photo. Then my friend and leading Patek Philippe collector, John Goldberger chimed in an said Picasso is wearing a triple date calendar by Jager le Coltre.
I am and have always been fascinated with Patek Philippe complicated Moonphase watches. I have been researching the ethos of the Patek Philippe Moonphase wristwatches, and here is a very early model made in 1927, and it is an absolute beauty.
These early Moonphase watches were never produced in any kind of quantity and are extremely rare and valuable. The early Patek Philippe Moonphase watches were styled as Avante-Garde, Art-Deco masterpieces. It is challenging to understand today just how innovative this watch was when it was made in the late 1920s. For instance, this is the first digital wristwatch I know of with digital day-of-the-week and month discs which are read through rectangular aperture windows.
Antiquorum successfully auctioned this amazing complicated Patek Philippe pocket watch for $2.29 Million today. This 120 years old beauty was originally sold in 1894 for 3750 Swiss Francs. Notice there is no Patek Philippe designation on the dial. This watch his unusual in that it has a 24 hour train dial, meaning it keeps 24 hour GMT time, as apposed to the standard 12 hour time.
This is a very rare 1966 Patek Philippe Reference 2499 because it has the Cartier designation printed on the center of the moon phase sub dial. This watch was has the Cartier designation on the dial because it was originally retailed by Cartier. This watch was sold by Antiquorum Auction House in 2006 for $680,000. This is the ONLY known example of the Patek Philippe Reference 2499 to be produced with the Cartier designation on the dial.
Antiquorum Auction House Lot Notes:
Produced in 349 examples from 1951 to 1985, very few with tachometer, the majority in yellow gold, and some examples are in pink or white gold. Calibre 13'''CC:
- First series: From 1951 to circa 1960, square buttons, "Feuille" hands, applied Arabic numerals, fluted lugs.
- Second series: Square buttons, "Dauphine" hands, applied indexes, the 12 in Arabic numerals.
- Third series: From 1960 to 1978, round buttons, "Dauphine" or "Feuille" hands, applied "Bâton" indexes. Calibre 13''' CCR,
- Fourth series: From 1978 to circa 1985, becomes Ref. 2499/100, round buttons, sapphire crystal, "Dauphine hands", applied "Bâton" indexes. Very few examples were made with tachometer or telemeter scale and three pieces only with sapphire crystal back. For this series, models with the tachometer indication are extremely rare.
Wempe 125th Anniversary Annual Calendar Triple Date
Special Edition of 125 Watches
37mm Reference 5125 Platinum
Antiquorum Auction House has successfully sold versions of this very rare Platinum Patek Philippe in the past. The one pictured below sold on July 12, 2006 for $117,400. The Reference 5125 is very rare in Platinum. Notice the version of this Reference 5125P was the WEMPE Logo designation printed on the moon phase sub-dial, and the version later in this story lacks the WEMPE logo.
Notice this model has red seconds markers. There were many people who wanted Patek Philippe to reintroduce the absolutely timeless triple-date for a long time, and the closest Patek Philippe came was by introducing the Reference 5125 as shown below.
The challenge was that Patek Philippe made this watch for Wempe, which is was, at the time a German Patek Philippe Authorized dealer and jeweler who had been selling Patek Philippe many years. In 2003 Patek Philippe made this watch to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Wempe Jewelers. The Patek Philippe Wempe Reference was limited to 125 pieces. In 2010 Patek Philippe finally brought back the triple-date model as the all-new Reference 5396.
Antiquorum Auction House lot notes:
In 1878, with a mere 80 Marks in pocket, the young watchmaker Gerhard D. Wempe opened a watch and jewelry business in his Aunt Caroline's house in the small German town of Elsfelth, just outside the northern city of Bremen. Business went well for the young entrepreneur and in the years to come he moved his venture to Oldenburg and later to Hamburg, where in 1907, he established the company's "Stammhaus" or "flagship store".
By 1914 Wempe had opened 4 more stores in Hamburg. However, with World War I sales dropped considerably. When Gerhard D. Wempe died in 1921, his son Herbert took over the business concentrating on exclusive connections to Swiss watch brands such as Omega and Longines. He further extended the business, buying in 1938 the famous "Hamburger Chronometerwerke" factory, an important manufacturer of ship's chronometers known for producing high precision nautical instruments. World War II again brought personal and professional difficulties. During this time, several stores were destroyed and 80% of the workforce was without housing.
In 1945 the company management was handed over to a trustee, and in 1951, the 19 year old son Hellmut had to take over the business. By 1953 Wempe again had 5 stores in Hamburg and by 1960s had opened additional stores in several other German cities. In 1980, Wempe entered the international scene with the opening of its US flagship store on New York's Fifth Avenue.
Stores were also opened in Paris, Vienna, London and Madrid. Since 2003 daughter Kim-Eva Wempe, who joined the firm in 1987, officially heads Germany's most respected watch and jewelry retailer. Today, Wempe has over 500 employees and 26 branches worldwide and additionally operates in Hamburg the largest watch repair and service facility of any retailer in Europe.
Jack Welch is considered to be one of the most successful business leaders in the world. He began his career as a chemical engineer and went on to become the Chairman and CEO of General Electric from 1981 to 2001.
Jack Welch is seen in all the photos in this article sporting his trademark Patek Philippe Calatrava [Reference 5120J] in yellow gold. The Patek Philippe Calatrava [Reference 5120J] is considered to be the ultimate gentleman's watch.
There are basically three levels of Patek Philippe dress watches. The first classification would be the Patek Philippe Calatrava models which are renowned for their absolute simplicity and minimalism. The second class of Patek Philippe dress watches are complicated watches, and the third and most typically expensive class of Patek Philippe dress watch are know as Grand Complications. Jack Welch's Patek is a very simple, understated Calatrava.
In this next photo below, we get a close up wrist shot of the photo above and we get positive confirmation that indeed, Jack Welch is wearing a Patek Philippe Calatrava [Reference 5120J] in yellow gold with the hobnail bezel.
The next photo shows the same model of Patek Philippe Calatrava [Reference 5120J] in yellow gold, that Jack Welch wears. Patek Philippe has been making this watch for many decades, and if you look closely you notice the bezel has two rows of small pyramids that run concentrically around the bezel. This type of bezel is commonly referred to in Patek Philippe parlance as a hobnail bezel. In an ironic twist of fate, Charlie Sheen will probably best be remembered for his slogan of "Winning!" The supreme irony is that in 2004, after Jack Welch retired as the Chairman and CEO of General Electric, he co-authored a very successful book which was titled "Winning." Something about guys who wear Patek Philippe watches and "Winning" ;-)
The Patek Philippe Reference 96 Calatrava from 1942 is pictured below in Pink Gold. The modern, Art-Deco Reference 96 is characterized by its clean lines. I have always liked the very simple Patek Philippe Calatrava watches, but I tend to gravitate more toward the Patek Philippe Grand Complications. That being said, there is no question, that the Calatrava models are minimalist masterpieces.
This next image shows a 1937 Patek Philippe Reference 96 Calatrava along with its Official Patek Philippe Archive Extract. Patek Philippe is unlike any other brand in the world, in the sense that it has a supreme appreciation for its history and heritage.
Patek Philippe is so serious about authenticity, they offer a service where you can send them any Patek Philippe watch, and for a fee, they will go though their meticulous archives and pull up the extract on your watch. After they have done so, they will issue an "Extract from the Archives" document as seen below, which documents all the details of your Patek Phillipe. This is just one of the details that differentiates Patek Philippe from everybody else.
Historical Note: In the image above (1937) the dial designation reads "Patek, Philippe & Co" and the newer one (1944) a the top of this post reads "Patek Philippe & Co" so the difference, is the later manufactured version removes the comma after Patek. Today the dials simple read "Patek Philippe."
If you are a regular reader of Jake's Patek Philippe World you have probably noticed my favorite Patek Philippe design language typically is found in the Grand Complications and particularly anything with a Moonphase indicator and Dauphine hands. I just love this stunning, timeless Art Deco design language!!!
To be specific, the design language in the Patek Philippe Reference 2499, pictured above is similar to the late Art-Deco design language seen in the photo below of the 1959 Cadillac tail fin.
This style of Art-Deco from the late 1950s is referred to as Populuxe. Populuxe is defined by very-clean, sharp, pointy lines–coupled with precise geometry which results in a Space-Age, futuristic stream-lined modern look which is optimistic and powerful.
The Patek Philippe Reference 2499 and the 1959 Cadillac tail fins are both simple yet complex, and unequivocal. That's the word I am looking for: Unequivocal.
Photo by Jim Zuckerman
I was playing with the image above in Photoshop, and I came up with the tiled image below which I think looks neat ;-) High Art Jack, High Art!!!
John Goldberger sent in the next images of the Patek Philippe Reference 1591 which is showcased in his amazing book named Stainless Steel Patek Philippe's. This unique watch is now on permanent display in Geneva in the Patek Philippe Museum.
Ironically, even though the image above is from the Christie's 2007 Auction Catalog, the photo below is of the exact same watch from a 2002 Antiquorum Auction House catalog.
In the photo below, you are looking at Charlie Sheen's Patek Philippe Triple Date Annual Calendar [Reference 2438] in yellow gold. My pal Simon dropped by this evening for a Patek Philippe/Rolex GTG and he showed up wearing with his stunning Patek Philippe that recently belonged to Charlie Sheen. As a matter of fact, this is Charlie's watch that he claimed kept Warlock Time ;-)
Charlie Sheen is pictured below wearing the exact watch in the photo above. Just to be clear, this is not only the same model, but the ACTUAL Patek Philippe Charlie Sheen Owned. So why doesn't Charlie Sheen own this watch any more? Because he recently upgraded to an over-the-top Patek Philippe Reference 2499 in Pink Gold with Breguet numerals that he paid close to $2.5 Million for!?!
Several months ago, Charlie Sheen posted the photo below on his Twitter account showing-off his wristwatch and ring. Charlie Sheen placed a caption under the photo that read:
The only watch that keeps Warlock time - Class of 1927 ring "Bambino U"
So what does Charlie's cryptic message really mean? Well, his 1927 world championship ring belonged to and was won and worn by Babe Ruth!!!! That is pretty impressive in-and-of-itself, but for a fellow WIS, it is not as impressive as his Patek Philippe wristwatch!!!!
Charlie is wearing what is probably the most elegant, timeless watch ever made. He is sporting an EXTREMELY RARE Yellow gold Patek Philippe 2438J, Complicated Moonphase that was made in the late 1959.
Just for the record, over the years I had been publishing Jake's Rolex World, I kept thinking in the back of my mind, I should create Jake's Patek Philippe World. The reason being that I have always liked Patek Philippe as much as Rolex–despite the fact they are both so different.
In many ways Patek Phillipe and Rolex represent the opposite sides of the same coin. What Patek Philippe is to dress watches, Rolex is to sport watches. One could also argue that if Patek Philppe is the Rolls Royce of watches, then Rolex is the Mercedes Benz.
Back in March or 2011, when Charlie Sheen went through the whole "Winning" fiasco, when he left 2 and a half men, I noticed he was wearing the Patek Philippe Reference 2438 that is pictured on his wrist in the photos at the beginning of this story. I have to tell you I was shocked to see this crazy-cool stunningly amazing Patek Philippe on Charlie Sheen's wrist!?! Why was I so shocked? Because I have NEVER seen a Reference 2438 on anybody's wrist in my life!!!
Of course I recognized the Charlie Sheen's watch right away, and as I just mentioned I was shocked to see a Patek Philippe on anybody's wrist because nobody actually wears these watches because they are so expensive. We are talking about a watch, that is the size of a quarter, that costs a half-million dollars. I was not impressed with how much Charlie Sheen's watch was worth, I was stunned with how beautiful the watch was and is. In my opinion, the Patek Philippe Reference 2438 is one of the best looking dress watches ever made.
Elegance Knows No Pain
I love how simple the user interface is on the Patek Philippe Reference 2438. It tells you everything you need to know at a glance, and nothing more. It it hyper-simple, yet hyper elegant. I was so excited to see the watch on Charlie Sheen, that I wrote an article about it on Jake's Rolex World. Then, for some reason, I realized I just had to finally create Jake's Patek Philippe World!!!
So my very first post on Jake's Patek Philippe World was about Charlie Sheen's Patek Philippe Reference 2438. Of course I had been thinking about starting Jake's Patek Philippe World for a long time. In a conversation with my pal Milos, several months before I started Jake's Patek Philippe World, I mentioned I was thinking about doing so, and ironically it was seeing Charlie Sheen's Patek Philippe that pushed me over the edge.
This beautiful Reference 1518 was the first production Perpetual Calendar Chronograph made by Patek Philippe. This beauty incorporates the calibre 13Q''' Chronographe. Patek Philippe began producing the Reference 1518 in 1941 (during World War II) and the last one was produced in 1954.
Patek Philippe only made 281 of the Reference 1518 model, most of which came in yellow and pink gold. There are 47 pink gold examples known to exist today. The example below appears courtesy of Antiquorum. Patek Philippe also made an extremely rare stainless steel version, of which there are 4 known examples in existence today.
Patek Philippe ultimately replaced the Reference 1518 with the Reference 2499 and the Reference 2499/100. The Reference 2499 began production in 1951 and the last example was produced in 1985.
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
Stainless Steel: Reference 1518
Alfredo Parmamico is one of the top vintage Patek Philippe collectors (from Italy) and he sent in the photo below of his extremely rare stainless steel Patek Philippe Reference 1518, which is 1 of only 4 known examples. If I recall correctly, Patek Philippe made the stainless steel versions during the World War II years because there was a gold shortage in Switzerland.
It appears in the photo, because of the lighting angle, the moon phase disc might be black, but it's the standard beautiful cobalt-blue color. I know the moon phase disc is cobalt-blue because I have seen other photos of this actual watch.
This Patek Philippe ad was published in the New Yorker Magazine on November 23, 1963 and it states:
Patek Philippe has left a deeper impression on the world of watchmaking than any other watch.
This ad features the really cool 18kK Patek Philippe Men's Perpetual Calendar, Minute Repeater Pocket Watch at the top, which is a Reference 844. The Reference 844 is also known as The American Digital Perpetual Calendar Pocketwatch.
This image appears courtesy of Antiquorum Auction House, and shows in better detail, the linear aperture which indicates month, date, and day of the week as well as the phases of the Moon. This is a super-clean, simple look for which Patek Philippe is renowned.
It is fascinating to note the ad at the top of this story was published just when U.S. President John Kennedy was assassinated. The following photo was taken on November 22, 1963. As a side note, JFK wore a Patek Philippe wristwatch, but I have not been able to find a photo of it yet.
I realize if you follow Jake's Patek Philippe World this will blow your mind, particularly after just seeing former Beatle, John Lennon wearing his Patek Philippe Triple Date Chronograph, but you are not hallucinating, here is another former Beatle, this time Paul McCartney, in a recent photo wearing a Patek Philippe Aquanaut on a rubber Patek Philippe strap with a deployant clasp!!!!
I know, I know, what are the odds of lightning striking twice in the exact same place? Well you saw it happen here ;-) Maybe I should change the name of Jake's Patek Phillipe World to Jake's Beatles Patek Phillipe World!!! Here is a photo of the same model of Patek Philippe Aquanaut [Reference 5167] that Paul McCartney is wearing in the photos.
In the photo below you see Paul McCartney's Patek Philippe deployant clasp with the seal of Calatrava logo etched into it.
"Somebody said to me, 'But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.' That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, 'Now, let's write a swimming pool.'" –Paul McCartney
If you look closely at the deployant buckle, in the photo above and below, you notice the Patek Philippe Seal Of Calatrava.
Paul McCartney just got married a few days ago, and he looks great at age 69!!! Paul McCartney wore his Patek Philippe at his wedding as seen in these photos.
I created my Patek Philippe blog because I wanted to share all the insight I have gained over more than the last quarter-century, regarding Patek Phillipe.
As a designer, I have always been deeply inspired by any and all examples of timeless design. Patek Philippe represents one of the best examples I am aware of when it comes to timeless design and excellence.
It has been said, elegance knows no pain, and Patek Philippe is and has always been the epitome of elegant complexity in the horological world.
Patek Philippe is internationally renowned for historically making the most detailed and complicated timepieces. These magnificent masterpieces not only tell you the time, but they also transcend time, and tell you something about yourself.
Since its founding in 1839 Patek Philippe has been a great horological innovator. Patek Philippe is renowned for making the first wrist watch ever in 1868, and in 1925 they created the first perpetual calendar watch as well as the first minute repeater.
Many famous people have chosen Patek Philippe to keep the time of their lives. This notable list includes:
• Gene Autry
• Eric Clapton
• Bing Crosby
• Marie Curie
• Miles Davis
• Joe DiMaggio
• Walt Disney
• Albert Einstein
• Duke Ellington
• Clark Gable
• John F. Kennedy
• Dalai Lama
• John Lennon
• Paul McCartney
• Pablo Picasso
• Brad Pitt
• Vladimir Putin
• Queen Elizabeth
• Queen Victoria
• Elizabeth Taylor
In the 2004 Patek Philippe Collection Highlights Guide–then President of Patek Philippe–Philippe Stern, wrote the Preface, which was so beautifully written, profound, compelling and inspiring, I decided to share it with you here.
I made the decision to share Philippe Stern's words since he so faithfully and intelligently describes the brand ethos and guiding philosophy of Patek Philippe in such an inspirational and passionate way.
I remember the first time I read these words of Philippe Stern's, being completely blown away by how articulate he was and how superb his use of metaphor was!!! Philippe Stern's words are as timeless as his design philosophy and his Patek Philippe watches!!!
Editor and Publisher of Jake's Patek Philippe World
The following excerpt is from the 2004 Patek Philippe Collection Highlights Catalog:
Preface by Philippe Stern
You are considering the purchase of a Patek Philippe timepiece. This makes you part of a community of people who strive for excellence and for whom a watch is more than a time-measuring instrument.
It also makes you one of the curators of a scientific and artistic tradition. You take possession of a precious object through which the spirit of venerable craftsmanship comes alive, an object that presupposes the frame of mind of a true art collector: judgment, esteem for value, and largesse.
Our current advertising campaign captures the essence: "You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation."
The longevity of our timepieces will some day give your descendants the exclusive pleasure of wearing one of the finest watches ever made. Our company has pursued a philosophy of excellence since 1839.
It was the year when Antoine Nobert de Patek, a sensitive aesthete, and Jean-Adrien Philippe, a watchmaking genius, inaugurated their workshops and promised each other that they would henceforth build the world's most exceptional timepieces. The foresight of the former and the inventiveness of the latter enabled them to successfully attain this goal.
Such an ambition requires the willingness to constantly surpass one's own expectations. As the undisputed virtuoso of horological complications, and since 1839 the creator of the world's most complicated timepiece, Patek Philippe has never ceased to extend the boundaries of the art of watchmaking.
The company's innovations, inspired by the poetry of time and acclaimed for the elegance with which they were executed, originate from the desire to introduce new timekeeping functions.
The outstanding precision of the movements, the superb workmanship, the precious materials, and the elaborate decoration techniques are essential elements of the Patek Philippe style which is truly inimitable, not least because of the way it combines complex mechanisms with classic design.
We have the enviable privilege of safeguarding the continuity of extremely rare crafts by recruiting promising talent and generously allocating resources to our in-house training centers.
Additionally, our designers and engineers, master watchmakers and gem setters, and all the other craftsmen or our workshops are in the position to take the time needed to accomplish their work, without pressure. This gives us the assurance that the perfection of our products is not marred by compromise.
You decision to acquire a Patek Philippe is also a decision in favor of authenticity. We cannot imagine a more fitting reward for our unerring quest for excellence. We have created this catalog to familiarize you with our products and help you select a watch that will become a most delightful part of your life.
President, Patek Philippe.
The 2004 Patek Philippe Catalog Continues:
Patek Philippe watches are timekeeping instruments of benchmark stature. But they are also works of art whose beauty reflects their mechanical perfection.
To distill the best of an era and transform it into a timeless icon is the infinitely delicate task of Patek Philippe's styling experts. With their designs, they must evoke emotions that are as lasting as the movements themselves.
From the first pencil sketch to the finished watch, the objective is always to find the perfect balance between classicism and modernity. Only what is deemed worthy will bear the Patek Philippe signature.
The outcome is timeless appeal as exemplified by the sustained success of Patek Philippe watches at prestigious auctions.
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