Lot 309
  • 309

Patek Philippe

Estimate
30,000 - 40,000 USD
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Description

  • A FINE AND RARE 18K YELLOW GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH, RETAILED BY TIFFANY & CO.1954 REF 2526 MVT 760620 CASE 682107
  • Gold
  • diameter 35 mm
• cal 12-600 AT automatic movement stamped twice with the seal of Geneva, 30 jewels • enamel dial printed with 'Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You', applied yellow gold baton indexes • PP crown, screw-down case back • case and movement signed by maker, dial signed by maker and retailer • with a woven 18k gold bracelet signed by retailer 

Condition

The movement is running at the time of cataloguing, however it may require service soon. The dial is in good order with no visible hairlines. The stem needs to be repaired and is not engaging with the detent (simple repair)The case shows some light surface scuffs with a very strong 18k mark to the outside of the case back, which is to be expected for watches made for the American market. Highly recommend rare example of 2526 with early dial and historical importance.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping.

Important Notice regarding importation into the United States of Rolex watches
Sotheby's cannot arrange for the delivery of Rolex watches to the United States because U.S. laws restricts the import of Rolex watches. The buyer or a designated agent may collect the property in the country of sale."

Catalogue Note

With an Extract from the Archives confirming sale on October 1st, 1954. Together with a fitted red leather presentation box signed by Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co and a handwritten note concealed with the box stating the family provenance.

Based on our research, this watch was presented by Lydon B. Johnson to Albert Thomas in late December 1954, most likely as a Christmas gift. Albert Thomas (1898-1966) was a Democratic Congressman from Texas from 1937-1966 and is recognized as the political protégé of LBJ and was instrumental to the development of the Johnson Space Center in Houston. During an appreciation dinner held November 12, 1963, President Kennedy and LBJ both gave speeches about Thomas and his monumental political achievements. Kennedy stated in the midst of the space race, "Our leadership in space could not have been achieved without Congressman Albert Thomas". Soon after Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963, Thomas was at LBJ's side while being sworn as President on Air Force One.

LBJ also wore a Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 (part of the permanent collection of LBJ Museum) with Golden Rule dial with an identical Tiffany & Co. bracelet to the presently offered lot, both with porcelain enamel Ref. 2526 dials. Thomas's Patek, unlike the LBJ watch, further features the name Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co. on the dial. LBJ was a loyal client of Tiffany & Co. and accustomed to generously giving gifts such as paperweights, letter openers, lighters, and watches, many featuring his initials, presidential seal – and also the Golden Rule. In the hierarchy of his gift giving, his closest advisors and most valued friends were given watches, as is the case with the presently offered Patek Philippe that was gifted to Albert Thomas.

The present example is among an exceedingly small group of Ref. 2526 watches to bear the Golden Rule, and among two known pieces that are made with first series enamel Ref. 2526 dials. In fact, the case number of the Thomas watch (682107) is only five digits off the case number of the LBJ Ref. 2526 (682113).

The Golden Rule variant dials were ordered by Tiffany & Co. as a special order for American clients via the Henri Stern Watch Agency. Later Golden Rule dials used on the Ref. 2552, silvered not enamel, were also gifted by President Johnson and occasionally appear on the market.

For additional information on the history of the Ref. 2526, see the previous lot.