This very rare pink gold second series reference 1579 is an outstandingly original example of this most distinctive landmark reference, the so-called ‘spider lugs’ chronograph. Distinguished by its largely untouched and wonderfully aged condition, it is further enhanced by the presence of the original Certificate of Origin. The present watch is one of only around 82 known pink gold examples of reference 1579.
Close examination of this watch rewards the observer with the charmingly mellow aging of the dial which retains its surface sheen, the hard enamel enamel signature, minutes and seconds scale and subsidiary dials are perfectly raised and the applied pink gold Arabic and square hour markers display the desirable blueish patina of gold that has aged naturally over many years of being completely undisturbed.
The pink gold case with both gold marks still clearly visible, has the last three digits of the case number (434) engraved in Roman numerals on the inside of the bezel.
Second series, Mark 1, made by Stern Frères circa 1952, on a silver plate base, with engraved sunken registers, matte silver ‘satiné-opalin’ surface finish, engraved-enamelled seconds scale, fifth-of-a-second and printed tachymeter scale. The back of the dial is punch numbered Stern Frères: 93 1157. The 93 is the code for Patek Philippe, the 1157 is the dial order reference number. The applied 6 and 12 hour markers and the eight ‘pyramid’ shape faceted small indexes are hand-cut pink gold. The ‘feuille’ hour and minutes hands are gold, as is the subsidiary seconds hand. The chronograph and the register hand are made from flamed blued steel.
Serial no. 674’434, made circa 1952 by Wenger, one of the all-time best Geneva Master case makers and is punched with his mark of number 1 within a key. Of three-piece construction with snapped bezel and back and soldered faceted lugs.
The case band is of typical shape, there is one hallmark on the band which is worn but still visible, the other on the inside of the lug is crisp and clear. The lugs and bezel are very well preserved even after many years of careful use. Reassuringly, the bezel is properly marked on its inside with the last three digits of the case serial number, 434.
Serial no. 868’431, made circa 1952, cal. 13’’’130, rhodium plated brass, based on a valjoux 13’’’ ébauche, especially made for Patek Philippe, 23 jewels, 18’000 oscillations, cut bimetallic compensation balance, micrometric precision adjustment.
Reference 1579 was launched at the Basel fair in 1943 and remained in Patek Philippe catalogues until 1964. The three-piece cases were made by Wenger, the dials were provided by the renowned Stern Frères, the movements based on the Valjoux 13''' ébauche, renamed by Patek Philippe calibre 13-130 after having been finished to highest standards in the firm’s workshops. Around 470 watches were made in total and of these, approximately 185 were made in pink gold.
Reference 1579 was made in two series:
-1st series from 1943 to 1949: Arabic and baton numerals, baton or feuille hands
-2nd series from 1950 to 1964: Arabic and square numerals, feuille hands, such as the present watch
For further examples of the Ref. 1579 see:
Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, 1998 edition, page 265.
Patek Philippe Museum Vol. II by Patek Philippe, 2014 edition, pp. 267-268.
Blue Book 1 by Eric Tortella, 2018 edition, p. 354-391.
Patek Philippe My Dream Collection by Ali Nael, 2021 edition, page 340-341