Lot 8
  • 8

Patek Philippe

600,000 - 800,000 USD
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  • watch
  • length 39.5 mm, width 30.5 mm
• circular manual winding nickel lever movement, bi-metallic compensation balance • gilt tonneau dial, painted black enamel Breguet numerals, subsidiary seconds, blued steel spade hands • the case of tonneau form, the band fitted with slide, back engraved with Graves' Coat-of-Arms • case, dial and movement signed • with an 18k yellow gold Patek Philippe buckle


Henry Graves, Jr.
Gwendolen Fullerton
Reginald H. Fullerton, Jr.


Overall opinion- A simply fabulous piece with all of the characteristics one would hope to find in such a unique watch. Wonderfully printed dial, heavy case with splendid patina, well and preserved Graves Crest, -Dial in lovely condition and original, apart from minor scoffing, -Case is in good order and with even patina, some very small areas of scoffing to case, -Repeat work is striking in phase and the tone is probably the best heard of any minute repeating wristwatch. The movement plates have wear to the finish. In running order and was -- -serviced by Patek Philippe in recent times. -Copies of the service papers are available upon request. The strap of this watch contains endangered species; please see Important Notices for further information.
"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 the date of manufacture of the movement in 1895, encasement in 1927, and subsequent sale on June 16th, 1928.

Research has shown that this previously unknown watch is likely to be the earliest minute repeating wristwatch purchased by Henry Graves, Jr. Henry Graves Jr., is known to have owned four minute repeating wristwatches.

The present watch is also the only one made for Graves in yellow gold. The three others were cased in platinum. Of those, the most famous and nearly identical to the present lot is No.198212, now in the Patek Philippe Museum. For an illustration of No.198212, see Huber, M. & Banbery, A., Patek Philippe Wristwatches, Second Edition, p. 315. One platinum example, in a smaller cushion form case, No. 198095 appeared at auction for the first time in 2010 and another platinum cushion repeater, No. 198378 appeared at auction over 20 years ago. 

At this early date, very few minute repeating wristwatches were manufactured by Patek Philippe. It is thought that the earliest minute repeater built as a wristwatch was created in 1906, but may have never been cased. From 1925, the sale of minute repeating wristwatches can be traced and were made up until 1942. That said, there are only twelve today known from the earliest production period. It is not until post war times, in the late 1940s into the early 1950s, that Patek Philippe's production of minute repeaters was done in series and models were assigned reference numbers.

Of further interest is the fact that this watch was delivered a year following Henry Graves, Jr.'s most famous watch commission for No. 198035, the Supercomplication.

Today there are twelve Patek Philippe minute repeating wristwatches known from the early part of the 20th century.  Of this group, only three have tonneau cases: two were made for Graves, and the third is known through a published archival photograph. The illustration is in Armbandurhen, Khalert, H., Mühe, R. and Brunner, G. p. 39. It should be noted that the first digit of the movement number is cut off in the photograph, however it is most likely 198306.