Watch Data

Platinum Wrist Chronometer no. 5049

Case: 10% Iridium Platinum rectangle case, Patek Philippe & Cie, Geneve, Swiss 5049

Dial: silver or platinum, Patek Philippe, Geneve

Movement: s/n; 5049 (sadly, no Patek Philippe movement serial number available), tonneau caliber 10 ligne, 2 Poincon de Geneve seals, Niton, Geneve, eighteen 18 jewels, all adjustments, Swiss

1927 - Niton, Geneva

1938 - Patek Philippe, Geneva

1988 - Christie's

Auction guide by Christie's, Lot 197, pag. 59, November 16th 1988, Fine wristwatches and 20th century pocket watches.

A very rare rectangular Platinum wristwatch with simple calendar. Signed Niton, Geneve, 5049, on movement, with Geneva office stamps, Patek Philippe & Cie, Geneve, Swiss 5049, on case, Patek Philippe, on dial. The movement serial number 5049 obtained the Poincon de Geneva quality seal in November 19, 1927. With 9-11''', 18-jewel nickel-finished and decorated movement, bi-metalic screwe balance with blued-steel overcoil spring and regulator, satin-finished silvered dial with Arabic two-hour chapters and black painted minute dots, with apertures for date, day and month, enamelled moonphase at 6 o'clock; platinum case with fecetted bezel and integral lugs, retained to the back with four screws, pin-setting for calendar. 24 mm wide, on flexible white gold bracelet, circa 1938, sold with various documents as mentioned below. A virtully identical watch, the movement by Niton and signed Patek Philippe No. 860182 is illustrated and discribed by Huber, Banbary, Patek Philippe wristwatches, Geneva 1988, page 210, figures; 358a-c 860182 (1938), Currently at the Patek Philippe Collection. It is further illustrated in several other publications, apparently this is the only known surviving example before this. In date it has not been possible to establish with certainty the complete history of this watch but Christie's is grateful to all the organisation mentioned in the following notes.

The present owner received the watch as a gift some thirty years ago, shortly after it had been accidently water immersed and immediately cleaned and the dial re-painted, probably in Italy.

According to the records of the Office for the Optional Control of Watches of Geneva, movementebauche number 5049 was submitted for examination in 1928, as part of a group of the same caliber numbered 5041 to 5057 (Certificate provided). Sarcar S.A., who finanlly took over Niton in 1971 have confirmed that the greater part of Niton's records had previously been destroyed, including details of No. 5049. However they have confirmed that movements were supplied to several manufacturers including Patek Philippe (Letter supplied).

The case is stamped with an authentic signature, authentic state control marks for platinum and the marker's mark FBG for Francois Baumgartner. According to Msr. G. Baumgartner, proprietor of Maison F. Baumgartner S.A. of Geneva, the case was made by jhis firm for the account of Patek Philippe in apporoximately 1938. Apparently cases for this model were made in platinum only for Patek Philippe, all examples for Niton being in gold. (Certifacate provided). According to information received the case of the watch in the Patek Philippe collection is not signed. The dial is cut and pierced by hand in the correct manner, although obviously re-painted after beining water damaged. The calendar discs, moon and calendar work are of a different style and finish.

Since the serial number is not in the normal Patek Phlippe sequence, they are unable to locate it in their records, and therefore believe it to be an imitation (letter provided). As the private ownership of the watch can be traced back more than thirty years, it seems highly improbable that it is a deliberate forgery. (S. Fr. 50.000+)

Possible just two were made, because of the horizontal layout of the triple date the date was to tiny to read. A seller on mentioned for an other Patek Philippe watch below about the case maker; master case maker Francis Baumgartner which is demonstrated by the poincoin key mark represented by the number 2 on the interior case back. What is also interesting to note is that Francis baumgartner was also frequently used as a nomenclature for two famous case makers known as Francois Borgel and Frederic Baumgartner. Because both people have the same initials it is a frequent use of term to refer to these cases as Francis Baumgartner cases. The collective responsibility mark number 2 was registered to F. Baumgartner SA of Geneva and is recognized as one of the most important casemakers of post ww2 case designs

Enter Francis Baumgartner, one of the preeminent case makers of the early 20th century, who provided cases for Patek Philippe (including that used for the original Calatrava) as well as Omega and most frequently associated with the original creation of the submarine aka original submariner case design.

Frédéric Baumgartner was also the maker of the 1932 Omega Marine, the first divers watch, and was the designer and maker of the 1939 Omega Marine Standard, a waterproof rectangular watch with a clip back case before contracting himself with Patek Philippe as the present example displays his case maker signature , #2 in the keymark.

Baumgartner’s revolutionized the design of 1930s wristwatches which consisted of a smaller, three-piece case (bezel, dial, and back) that was then enclosed in a larger case with a lid. It is believed that this concept heavily also stemmed from his partner Francois borgel. The outer case only had two pieces, a back and a bezel that would unscrew, much like a Mason jar. In fact, The creation so delighted Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, that he filed for a patent in London on May 10, 1923 and secured three further patents for model names.

The one that has been most famous was the Submarine, although Hermetic was also used frequently as well. The Submarine—also known as the Hermetic—was an early attempt by Rolex to create a waterproof wristwatch. Throughout the First World War, Rolex used two-piece cases made by Dennison and Borgel. These watches saw soldiers through the mud and the mire of the battlefield, but there was still room for improvement, particularly when Rolex saw new frontiers: the tropics

Francis Baumgartner aka Frederic baumgartner is one of the most instrumental master case makers of the early 20th century. For those of you unfamilar, Baumgartner was responsible for creating the curved elongated case design for Rolex , omega and Patek and more importantly he is also best known for his creation of the Rolex pre-submariner which has been one of the most iconic references in the world of horology. With his technology watches became far more water/dust proof which was especially important with wristwatches being worn by soldiers on the battlefields. Watches needed to be durable, and water resistant in harsh climates & condition.

He was a leader and innovator among the swiss manufacturerrs during the late 1800s and the creator of first water- resistant screwed case in 1880 with those who adopted it being Longines, IWC, Vacheron & Patek to name a few. He was a true pioneer who fused fashion of the day with new radical designs, the emergence of a classic showcase and for a collector a walk through time.