Details
MANUFACTURED IN: 1979
CASE MATERIAL: 18K white gold
CASE SIZE: 33 mm. wide
DIAL: Pale green with quote: In Need Freedom is Latent, Col. Kadhafi
MOVEMENT: Automatic
FUNCTIONS: Time only
CALIBER: 28-255
WITH: 18K white gold integral Patek Philippe mesh bracelet with a textured finish, overall length approximately 190 mm., Extract from the Archives confirming manufacture of the present watch with green dial in 1979 and its subsequent sale on 31 August 1979

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This lot is subject to standard Swiss VAT rules and 7.7% VAT will be charged on the ‘hammer’ and the ‘buyer’s premium’
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Lot Essay

The present watch was given personally by Colonel Gadafi to the original recipient as a token of appreciation for his services during 1979. A hand-written letter from the family of the original owner confirming the provenance will be given to the successful buyer.

The censored translation of the letter reads as follows:

Xxxxxxxx, August 19th 2020
I, xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx with ID number xxxxxxxxx, hereby share details of the watch Patek Philippe Model 3589 / 1. Limited edition Col Kadhafi Oval green face, case serial number 530xxx mechanism model No 28-255, serial number 128xxx.
My grandfather xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx, was a xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. This work was classified in June 1979.
The objective was xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx his work, Col Khadafi in person presented him with the watch described above.
My grandfather had a sentimental relationship with xxxxx’s grandmother and always recognized xxxxxxxx as his own granddaughter. When she started her university studies, my grandfather handed the watch over to xxxxx’s grandmother and told her it would be his present once she finished university.
Unfortunately, my grandfather was not able to see xxxxx graduate since he passed away on xxx Xxxxxxxx, 2017. (see Google search xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx) and she graduated in 2019.
In view of the story above, I can declare this watch is a family heirloom. Xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx

Superbly preserved and completely fresh to the market, it is amongst the rarest examples of the reference 3589 “Grande Ellipse” to be offered at auction. It is furthermore the only one of this series to be sold with a letter confirming the provenance.

This watch is one of only four known examples of reference 3589/1 made upon special order by Patek Philippe for Colonel Gaddafi, however the only featuring the quote “In Need Freedom is Latent, Col. Kadhafi” on its dial. It is furthermore fitted with the earliest movement number of these four watches.

Of the series of wristwatches directly commissioned by the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, only three other examples are known with the same case, bracelet and dial configuration as this watch. Two of these feature the same quotes in Arabic and two (including the present watch) in English. Each of the known English versions has a different quote and is so far unique.

The known reference 3589/1 Ellipses made for Colonel Gaddafi:

Movement No. Case No.
1’288’168 530’100 English - “In Need Freedom is Latent” - The Present Watch
1’288’171 529’453 Arabic - “Only in Times of Need Will You Find Freedom”
1’288’179 529’387 English - “Partners Not Wage-Workers”
1’288’183 529’401 Arabic - “Only in Times of Need Will You Find Freedom”

Another round-shaped watch, ref. 3606/3 is known, movement no. 1'286’610, case no. 529’638, with the dial quote in German: “Die Wohnung, Dem Bewohner” (“The Apartment, The Resident”), it was also sold on 31 August 1979.

Colonel Gaddafi commissioned this small series of Patek Philippe watches in order to commemorate his speech given on Labour Day in Libya in 1978. The watches were made in white gold with an integral white gold bracelet and all delivered on 31 August 1979.

The green dial colour is a reference to Gaddafi’s ‘Green Book’ which outlined his political philosophy. It was inspired in part by Mao Tse-Tung’s ‘Little Red Book’ (quotations from Chairman Mao), although Gaddafi’s ‘Green Book’ rejected capitalism, communism and representative democracy. It was widely distributed both inside and outside Libya. The green dials were further enhanced with selected parts of Colonel Gaddafi’s personal quotes.

Reference 3589, known as “Grande Ellipse”, was launched in 1970 and discontinued in 1979. It houses the calibre 28’255, the same automatic movement as the famous Jumbo Nautilus reference 3700.

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