Patek Philippe 18K open-face split seconds pocket watch retailed by Tiffany & Co, made in 1907, sold in 1931

Model: ,
Year of issue: 1907
Reference number: Pre reference number
Condition: worn
Status: available
Dealer country: United States
Price in US $ 28,000


The 1930s was an era of the ‘old world’ meeting the ‘new world’ in many different ways but most notably in the realms of technology and art. This watch embodies that transition in many important ways. First, technologically the split seconds was a complication most often used to time two events simultaneously, typically a horse or an automobile race. Given the rare configuration of a 30 minute register, this watch could have been used for either purpose based on the needs and preferences of the owner. This was the transitional era when a gentleman needed to make a choice, either to wear a pocket watch or a wristwatch. It was a choice fueled by style, function, and perhaps most importantly, status.
Aesthetically, this watch has some subtle features that would have conveyed status as well as quality to the most discerning person. The movement holds perhaps the most ‘secrets’ intended only for the eyes of the watchmaker. The highest quality Patek Philippe finish was given to every part one could see with the dust cover open, and also every part that could not be seen. The case is a masterwork in itself with the subtle feature of a hidden hinge, the ultimate ‘complication’ of the case maker. This case is so brilliantly executed that no signs of the hinge can be seen when the case is closed, a testament to the brilliance of the case maker. Last but not least, the dial. This dial was made by no other than Stern Frères for Patek Philippe. The special order Greek-style numerals (as described on the Patek Philippe archive) were hand painted and permanently baked into the dial along with the two registers. Exceptionally rare and masterfully executed, this dial represents the pinnacle of the art of dial making.
Less than 200 examples of split seconds chronograph pocket watches were made by Patek Philippe in all styles.  Only a handful have survived in the same exceptional condition as the presently offered watch. A similar piece can be seen at the Patek Philippe Museum, No. 137830, which was also made for Tiffany & Co. (Patek Philippe Watches Volume 1, Patek Philippe Museum, p. 327.)
Reference Number: Pre reference number
Production Year: 1907
Original Date of Sale: April 4, 1931
Size: 46.5 mm
Material: 18K yellow gold
Dial Color: Enamel
Watch Movement: 17"' split seconds
Accompanied By: Extract from the Archives


John Reardon