PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
18k, damascened nickel lever movement, cal.27-460 with additional under dial work completed for Patek Philippe by Louis Cottier, 37 jewels, free-sprung gyromax balance, adjusted to heat, cold, isochronism and 5 positions, 18k gold engine turned rotor bearing the calatrava cross, the under dial plate with additional Cottier gearing, enabling the opeartion of the twin dials in tandem or separately. [See illustrations overleaf]
The dial with two subsidiary lozenge shaped dials for two time zones each with applied numerals, separated by textured 'Tuscany' finished centre.
Large circular gold case with stepped polished chamfered bezel, sunken crown, pusher above the crown for independently setting the left hand dial, screw-down faceted case back, moveable T-bar lugs allowing the change of bracelet/strap, matching herring bone pattern Patek Philippe 18k gold bracelet.
Case, dial and movement signed, accompanied by a Patek Philippe presentation case and an Extract from the Archives.
The accompanying Extract from the Patek Philippe Archives confirms that this wristwatch was manufactured in 1963 and sold on January 10th, 1969.
References 3452 and 3452-1 are exceptionally rare models and together were manufactured in just 7 examples, following a 1954 prototype. Two models were made in 1960, a further two in 1961 and three final pieces were completed in 1963. Research suggests that all of the reference 3452-1 wristwatches are either different in dial, case colour or lugs. No other reference 3452-1 is known to be identical to the present watch and therefore the present example can be considered to be unique. Furthermore, the three archive images illustrated in the Huber, Banbery Patek Philippe book (plates 383-385) are all noted to be in white gold.
Louis Cottier (1894-1966) was born in Carouge, his father, Emmanuel Cottier, was himself a watch and automata maker. As an independent watchmaker, Louis Cottier started his own workshop in Carouge, making watches, wristwatches and desk clocks.
He specialized in watches without hands, jumping digital hours and other unusual displays, as well as “angle” aviator watches and automaton. In 1931 he invented the “Heure Universelle” (World Time) mechanism and made this complication for famous manufacturers such as Agassiz, Patek Phillippe, Rolex and Vacheron Constantin. Indeed, he had such a good reputation that Hans Wilsdorf chose him as the curator for his collection.
At the end of World War II, some of Cottier’s production was already to be found in the possession of, among others, Winston Churchill, President Harry Truman, Joseph Stalin, General De Gaulle and President Franklin Roosevelt’s. In 1950 he invented the two crowns “Heure Universelle” (World Time) system. In 1954 he invented the twin dial watch with one movement for Patek Philippe, thereby making them the first manufacturer to produce the twin dial complication without the use of two movements. In 1958 he also made a linear hour watch for Patek Philippe. In 1959 Patek Philippe patented his Two Time Zone movement invention.
From 1937 to 1965, Cottier delivered approximately 400 movements to Patek Philippe, most of them with the “Heures Universelle” feature. Only 7 of these movements were for twin-dial watches, all of which were made on stock calibres to which he modified the dial plate section to adapt his features. Here are some of the references to which Cottier contributed and which Patek used: Ref. 96 HU; ref. 515, ref. 542 ; ref. 605 HU; ref 784; ref 828; ref 1415 & ref. 1415-1; ref. 1416; ref 1490; ref. 2523 & ref 2523-1; ref. 2597 & 2597-1; ref. 3452 & 3452-1.
Today, Patek Philippe still produces watches with Cottier’s inventions, for example ref. 5130 or ref. 5134.
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