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$ 140,000

Patek Philippe Piece Unique 1978 Largest Known 35m Skeleton Diamond Enamel

Documentation Signed
Origin Switzerland
Period 1950-1999
Materials 18 Kt Yellow Gold, Lapis Lazuli , Factory Diamond Set
Condition Good.
Creation Date 1978

The Present watch is an Extremely Rare Patek Philippe. First off, it is a Piece Unique example based on its unique case design and incorporation of both diamond and enamel, but more importantly because it is also the Largest known skeletonized vintage Patek Philippe in the marketplace at a staggering 35mm case size.

Additionally, the present 1978 18kt yellow gold Patek Philippe Skeletonized Factory Diamond set & Factory Hand Painted Guillioche Enamel Dial Wristwatch also comes complete with its original 18kt yellow gold signed Patek Philippe bracelet and is further accompanied by an original Patek Philippe Box and Patek Philippe paperwork confirming its authenticity.

Overall, it is probably one of the most rare skeletonized vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches the firm has ever produced during this timeframe and would be considered the ultimate in Vintage Skeleton Timepieces to even the most seasoned collectors, as well as, humbly holding its status as still being fresh to the market and never being offered in a major auction house and with no example of its kind being found in literature as research suggests.

Skeletonization & The Caliber 177

During this time frame, skeletonized wristwatches in the 70s were requiring ultra thin movements in order to fit into a case which can show its engineering on display from all sides. Vacheron and Constantin was known for having produced some of the first skeletonized wristwatches during this period and to compete with Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe recognized the demand in the marketplace that Vacheron and Constantin and other brands were competing for and returned fire by producing a skeletonized wristwatch such as the present timepiece offered here today, one of their very first Patek Phillipe skeletonized wristwatches produced in 1978. Skeletonized wristwatches by Patek Philippe are increasingly sought after by collectors today due to there very limited production in general of only 200 or so ever being made between the years of 1980-1990.

With a Hand-skeletonized and hand-engraved caliber 177 movement in the traditional manner, the present timepiece achieves the feat of creating the Calatrava squellette that the firm has so soundly built its reputation on for over 50 years with their skeleton concept. The feat of creating the Calatrava Squelette Reference offered here today called for extreme skill not only from the watchmakers who designed the caliber 177 which is their smallest ultra thin skeletonized mechanical movement but also the watchmaker had to know precisely where the limitations lie in taking material away so he or she does not cause the movement to stop functioning properly as a result of over engraving or error when working with such a thin movement and surface space.

The complete skeletonization of this movement would have taken the firm nearly a month to produce and afterwards an additional 150 plus hours to add a cornucopia of arabesques and volutes that decorate the highly visible metal remaining in the movement which further accent it. Engraving is an inimitable skill that creates neat, shining lines and a subtle play of light upon a difficult metal canvas.

The present reference is completely hand crafted by Patek Philippe’s most elite master engravers of their time which were employed to apply their elite skill level to this highly specialized creation and feature beautifully chased and engraved decor to the specifically chosen and designed ultra thin 177 caliber movement making it a true work of art and engineering.

Coincidentally, the firm decided to alter the interior design and focus on a smaller case using an automatic movement instead of the 177 caliber into the 1980s and ironically returned back to it nearly 50 years later with the limited production of the Patek 5178 for a short time which is also a skeleton and uses this identical mechanism, produced in 2018 lending both a pattern of ancestry and an extreme limited availabity for this caliber and case design.

It is an interesting decision that the firm chose the 177 versus a 240 caliber for this creation when one thinks why but a decision that makes sense given that the 177 is their smallest skeletonized movement and the master watchmakers likely needed the extra room on the interior of the case to be able to have enough room for a hand painted guillioche royal blue enamel dial to be incorporated into the dials design as the order probably required.

Once the Master watchmaker and the master engraver were able to complete their workmanship on this timepiece, Patek Philippe’s master enameler hand painted a royal blue guilioche pattern enamel Dial around the skeletonized movement which is also in perfect condition today and shows no signs of wear.

Piece Unique Case Design

As far as the case design, the present watch completely stands out amongst other skeletonized patek philippes which since 1978 have always been only produced in the mm size of a 25mm to 31mm case design while the present one is 35mm. Adding further to the present timepiece’s piece unique status it also differs from other examples of its kind as it is cushion shaped rather then oval or round in shape as the mass produced examples were designed with and furthermore the case has both factory Diamonds as well as Factory Hand Painted Enameling. During this timeframe, skeletonized wristwatches had one or the other and its was considered extremely rare to find an example with both amenities applied to it. The present example is the only example of a Cushion shaped Skeletonize Diamond and hand painted Enamel wrist and in a case design that is bigger then any other known example ever produced.


The condition of this timepiece is immaculate with sharp signatures and hallmarks throughout. The bracelet is virtually unworn and show no discoloration and is totally firm throughout with no pulls or tears to the nicely woven textured pattern. The dial and movement are in perfect shape with no enamel loss and no missing diamond stones to the bezel. The movement is in perfect working condition and also has been recently serviced. Additionally, the timepiece comes fully signed and complete with its original box and paperwork from Patek Philippe confirming the timepiece throughout.

If you are interested in a truly one of a kind piece unique Patek Philippe this would be a great addition for the experienced collector as this would be considered the ultimately in skeletonized vintage patek.

The size allows for it be worn comfortably as a many of the sports watches would be but the dress factor conveyed by the diamond and enamel elements give way to it being an extremely versatile timepiece that can be worn day or night, suit or t-shirt. The skeleton dial also makes it a definite conversation piece it is stands out from any other skeletonized Patek Philippe ever produced or sold at auction.

There are many things which can be written about this particular example as it is so rare and there really is no other example similar to it. It is sure to be a trophy piece in any collection so for more details, questions, additional photos or video please do not hesitate to ask.

Sothebys Lot 2141 November 2016 Hong Kong
- Largest known Patek Philippe skeleton (31mm) Price Realized $93,489.00

- Smaller then present example
- No diamonds
- No enamel
- No Patek Philippe gold Bracelet
- more modern caliber automatic movement

Additional Basic Specifications
Skeletonized, 18 jewels, lever escapement, Gyromax balance, self-compensating flat 177 manual winding jeweled lever movement, stamped with the seal of Geneva, finely engraved and pierced • skeleton dial with factory diamond-set bezel • blue enamel on guilloche ring dial with indexes. "Cathedrale", blued steel hands • 18kt yellow gold Patek Philippe Bracelet • Dial, case, movement, bracelet signed. Accompanied with original box and paperwork.
In excellent condition Diameter 35 mm.

Patek Philippe caliber 177 SQU
Brand: Patek Philippe
Reference: 177 SQU
Movement: Handwound
Display: Analog
Diameter: 20.80
Jewels: 18
Reserve: 44
Frequency: 21600
Hands: Hours, Minutes
Additionals: Skeleton
Ultra-thin mechanical manually wound skeleton movement, manually decorated and engraved

Diameter: 20.8 mm
Height: 1.77 mm
Jewels: 18
Parts: 110
Balance: Gyromax
Vibrations/hour: 21 600 (3 Hz)
Power reserve: Min. 43 hours
Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal
Gemstones Diamond, Lapis Lazuli
Metals Yellow Gold
Styles / Movements Artist Jewelry, Rare Jewels, Signed Pieces
Incollect Reference Number 328073
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