With an Extract from the Archives confirming sale with black dial on April 28th, 1956.
The present lot is a legend among collectors of Patek Philippe watches. Originally sold as the back cover lot of Sotheby's June 22nd, 1988 catalogue, the piece has remained in a private collection for nearly 25 years. It re-emerges today as one of the finest time-only specimens ever created.
At 46 millimeters in diameter, the dimensions of the watch are extraordinary. This case size is matched only by two chronograph models:
• the 'Trossi Legenda', movement number 197952, sold by Sotheby's Geneva, May 11th, 2008, the largest single button chronograph wristwatch ever made
• movement number 867857, a unique aviator's split second chronograph wristwatch
The latter model is now exhibited in the Patek Philippe Museum, and shares the same base reference number as the present model, 2512. This piece, made in 1952, is illustrated in Huber, M. & Banbery, A., Patek Philippe Watches, First Edition, Vol. II, p. 208, pl. 353a, b.
Mirroring movement number 867857, the present lot also features a black dial and a nearly identical case design, with a stepped bezel and fluted, gently downturned lugs. While oversized watches are highly sought after, it is rare to find a piece that achieves the level of understated elegance of the present lot.
Indeed, with its captivating and extraordinarily rare black dial and even rarer massive size, this example possesses an unassuming simplicity. It is the rare piece that would be equally suited on the wrist of a connoisseur of the utmost discretion and taste, or in a vitrine alongside Patek Philippe's most museum-quality creations.