Photo Courtesy of AntiquorumAn ultra-rare Patek Philippe wristwatch formerly owned by the master luxury watch maker who created it will be offered for sale during Antiquorum's Geneva auction on November 11. The coveted piece with reference number 1463 with an asthmometer dial, thought to be the only example of its kind finished in steel, was completed by Jacques Golay circa 1950. During this time, he was working as a régleur in the atelier of Fils de Victorin-Piguet, part of the Patek Philippe group of companies. The timepiece carries a conservative pre-sale estimate of up to $160,000, but may well fetch much more due to its rarity and provenance.
Régleurs, highly skilled watchmakers who were able to adjust watches to levels of extreme accuracy, were the highest paid craftsman in the horological industry at the time that this watch was made. In 1941, Golay was awarded the prestigious Guillaume prize for accurate timekeeping, enhancing the reputation of Patek Philippe that places the brand at the pinnacle of watchmaking today. The watch features a round button chronograph, 30-minute register, respirations scale and a Patek Philippe stainless steel buckle— however, it does not have a numbered case because Golay made the watch for himself and not commercial sale, which makes it even more unique. Included in the lot is a letter from Golay’s son, Jules, detailing the watch’s interesting history.