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Patek Philippe

Reference 533, 'The General'| A yellow gold chronograph wristwatch | Circa 1937

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe

Reference 533, 'The General'| A yellow gold chronograph wristwatch | Circa 1937

Reference 533, 'The General'| A yellow gold chronograph wristwatch | Circa 1937

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

Patek Philippe

'The General', Reference 533

An iconic, rare and historically important yellow gold chronograph

Circa 1937

Dial: silvered sector

Calibre: cal. 13’’’ manual winding, 23 jewels

Movement number: 860'506

Case: 18k yellow gold, snap-on case back

Case number: 616'006

Size: 33 mm diameter

Signed: case, dial and movement 

Box: no

Papers: no

Accessories: Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin, photocopy of original owner's service record from the Department of Defense, Pentagon Dossier portraits of North, double portrait in which North appears seated with Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, Five Star General Dwight D. Eisenhower

MVT: is running at the time of cataloging. The chronograph function is working.

CASE: is in good condition consistent with age and use of the watch. Surface scratching throughout with some scuffing. Case back engraved 'Cap. Thomas North/Exercito Brasileiro/1939'.

DIAL: is in good condition consistent with age. Scratches, blemishes, spotting and specking throughout. Some scratching and tarnishing to the hands.

Please note that Condition 12 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot (for example, the online condition report 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. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact). Please also note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and wrist bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. 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. Please be advised that wristbands 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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Sotheby’s Watches is proud to offer an iconic, rare and historically important Patek Philippe Chronograph, which was worn on the wrist of Major General Thomas North during his service in the Second World War. In addition, the watch is being offered by the family of the original owner.

In 1939 North took part in a 'Good Will' tour to Brazil, followed by a tour of the US. Captain Thomas North and his detachment escorted the Brazilian Chief of Staff (General Pedro Aurelio de Góis Monteiro) and General George C. Marshall, around the country, after which North was gifted the present watch by General Góis Monteiro.

This Reference 533 in yellow gold with a '4 Ring' second series sector dial is accompanied by original Pentagon Dossier portraits of North as well as a double portrait in which North appears seated with another US Army General. It is further accompanied by his service record from the Department of Defense and a Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives denoting the case and movement number.

Reference 533 was produced from 1937 to 1957 and was very similar to Reference 130 aside from its flat coin-like bezel. Patek Philippe only produced around 350 examples of Reference 533 across three metals – 215 pink, 125 yellow and 10 steel– with the rarer gold case unusually being yellow gold. The cases were produced by the Geneva case maker Emile Vichet and the dials were made by Stern Frères. The addition of a sector dial places the watch in a much smaller category of rarity as it is believed that only 12 sector dial 533’s were produced and only 6 of them have returned to market.

North was a veteran of the battle of the Somme in the First World War as part of the 11th Engineers and a General of Artillery during the Second World War. Given the unique and heavily documented provenance of the piece and the level to which the dial is preserved, the present watch is without doubt one of the most interesting examples to ever come to market.