Put steel, vintage, chronograph and Patek Philippe together in a sentence, and you know that we are talking about an extraordinary watch. Especially when it concerns ref.1436, which is not only a chronograph but a split-seconds chronograph, operated by two pushers, instead of just one, which is more common on vintage split-seconds chronographs made by Patek Philippe.
This particular reference is in fact so rare that there are only two known to exist with a stainless steel case. There was a third one, which was delivered to an Italian retailer in 1942, but as it remained unsold for over eight years, it was fitted with a yellow gold case, which was at the time more popular.
This particular watch was saved from this, as it was made in 1945 and sold in the US in 1949. After its original sale, it had only two other owners. All of them have treated this watch with the respect that it deserved because it is in a remarkable original condition.
The watch is by modern standards small, with a diameter of only 34mm. However, the bezel is relatively slim, and the dial very well proportionated, making the watch look larger than it actually is. A significant visual impact is also made by the blued chronograph hands.
This Patek Philippe ref.1436 split seconds chronograph was auctioned in November 2015 by Phillips. It was given an estimate of CHF 1.500.000,- – 3.000.000,- and ended up being sold for CHF 3.301.000,- It is, of course, the rarity and the exquisite condition of this watch that makes this watch so desirable, but there is something else. As this particular reference is so rare, and the only other known example is currently residing in the collection of a renowned connoisseur, it is unlikely that one will come up for sale anytime soon, giving collectors, even more reason to bid while one is for sale.