Hands-On The Patek Philippe Henry Graves Jr. Minute Repeater
A few weeks back, I detailed that the popular moment repeater that Henry Graves Jr. commissioned from Patek Philippe during the 1920s is coming available to be purchased again at Christie’s Geneva on November 11. Notwithstanding this watch having a huge load of noteworthy worth – for Patek, for authorities, for watchmaking all the more for the most part – it’s additionally a watch that has exceptional individual importance for me. You can find out about that here , however the tldr adaptation is that announcing an anecdote about this watch when it last sold in 2012 is the means by which I wound up on my expert way in the watch world and at HODINKEE. So a week ago, whenever I got an opportunity to see this unbelievable watch in the metal for the absolute first time, you can wager I seized the opportunity.
Now, I’ll concede, I was somewhat stressed as I strolled through Rockefeller Center to Christie’s for the survey. This was something of a meet-your-legends second: Would the watch disillusion? Would it be pretty much as cool as I needed it to be? How could it sound? I’m glad to report, that in the wake of going through around 10 minutes taking care of and shooting the watches, my assumptions were met or surpassed. I will not go through the following 20 years working through this one with a specialist. Phew.
Let’s get this out right up top: On the wrist, this watch is an absolute dream. It’s tonneau molded, and quantifies 39.5mm long and 30.5mm wide. In case you’re accustomed to wearing for the most part round wristwatches (which, let’s face it, the vast majority of us are), it’s somewhat difficult to intuit how this will fit without giving it a shot. I’d compare wearing this to wearing something 35mm or 36mm in width. It’s unquestionably little by current principles, however I was astounded by how contemporary it felt. I didn’t feel like I was wearing a relic conveyed in 1928, or that I would have to disclose to individuals why I was wearing a particularly little watch, if I somehow happened to, say, take it for a turn around the bend to The Grill for lunch.
One thing that stands apart on the wrist is the way thin this watch is. I don’t have an accurate estimation, yet calling it super flimsy wouldn’t be distant. The slide for the repeater likewise sits near the side of the case. This makes it a piece fiddly to incite on the wrist, yet anybody wearing this watch now will need to be sensitive with it in any case. Truth be told, I feel somewhat senseless in any event, working this out as a complaint, however there you have it.
One of this current watch’s trademarks is the family crest engraved on the opposite. The Graves family peak is as yet noticeable right where it was in 1928, and the etching is still profound and fresh. I can’t envision that Henry Graves Jr. wore this watch again and again, or possibly not when he was doing anything excessively exhausting, since it would seem that there’s been moderately little wear to the caseback generally. Alongside the sides, you can see traces of stain, with a delicate rosy purple tone, adding another measurement to the case. I’m happy no one has successfully meddle with the watch or to “reestablish” it, destroying its character all the while. That word “character” may be the best descriptor of this watch by and large – it just oozes character.
One of the reasons why this watch is so truly significant is that it is one of the main moment rehashing wristwatches at any point conveyed by Patek Philippe, and the first at any point conveyed to Mr. Graves. While he took conveyance of the watch at Patek Philippe base camp in Geneva in 1928, the case was made a year sooner, in 1927, and the development significantly sooner in 1895. That last piece is truly entrancing – this little moment rehashing type (no. 97,589, in the event that you’re intrigued), sat unused for over 30 years before the correct application introduced itself. In this day and age of present day watchmaking, it’s practically difficult to envision something like this event. In those days, it wasn’t the most uncommon thing on the planet, yet it adds some additional interest to the account of this specific repeater.
As far as the sound of the repeater goes, it sounds much the same as you would expect a top of the line repeater from the turn of the twentieth century to sound. It’s gentler and somewhat more shrill than most present day repeaters, and the little yellow gold case gives it a touch of reverberation without it very sounding vaporous. I’m as a matter of fact not brief repeater expert, but rather I’d give the watch full checks here.
For me, probably the best thing about this watch is the yellow-on-yellow design of the case and dial. The yellow dial has a delicate grain to it, that is still a lot of present, and it goes about as an incredible ground for the punchy dark numerals and part ring, the two of which are lacquer, adding a trace of sparkle and profundity. One of my number one contacts however? The manner in which the sub-register at six o’clock is unpretentiously sunk into the dial. That additional piece of three dimensionality simply makes this dial for me, however it’s in close competition with those blued hands, which are practically purple in shading and truly shimmer when they get the light perfectly. You could know almost no about wristwatches and still realize quickly that this is an excellent thing. Its quality is only that evident.
When the watch last sold in 2012, it got only a hair under $3 million , and Christie’s has it assessed between CHF 3,000,000 and 5,000,000 this time around. Back in 2012, $3 million was a totally enormous amount of cash for a watch. And keeping in mind that it’s still, equitably, a great deal, we’ve seen in excess of a couple of watches go for well over that. It will be amazingly fascinating, particularly as the market has slanted toward chronographs and game watches, to perceive how this watch performs. Do I believe it’s worth some place in that gauge range, thinking about its set of experiences and provenance? Totally. Will the market? I suspect as much. We’ll know soon enough.
My experience with the Henry Graves Jr. minute repeater was over seven years really taking shape. Indeed, even in those days, as an all out horological beginner, I realized that the watch was something worth expounding on and contemplating, and in the time from that point forward I’ve truly come to comprehend why that is, both for myself and for the more extensive watch world. Getting an opportunity to put in no time flat with the watch at Christie’s New York was a genuine delight, and I’ll be tensely anticipating the second the mallet falls on November 11, when the following fortunate proprietor will welcome it into their collection.
The Henry Graves Jr. minute repeater is Lot 154 in Christie’s upcoming Rare Watches sell off, occurring November 11 in Geneva. It comes with a pre-deal gauge of CHF 3,000,000 to 5,000,000. Check out the full index posting here.