18 carat Patek Philippe Jumbo Ellipse reference 3589 with the sigma dial
Patek Philippe launched the Patek Philippe Ellipse in 1968 and quickly became famous for its unique and stylish case shape.
A brief history on Patek Philippe:
Polish watchmaker Antoni Patek started making pocket watches in 1839 in Geneva, along with his fellow Czech-born Polish partner Franciszek Czapek. They separated in 1844, and in 1845 Patek joined with the French watchmaker Adrien Philippe, inventor of the keyless winding mechanism. Patek Philippe & Co was founded in 1851 and since then Patek Philippe have become famous for high grade movements such as the perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph, and minute repeater in watches.
Making watches for such people as Pope Pius IX, Queen Victoria, Victor Emanuel III of Italy, Christian IX of Denmark, and Albert Einstein. Patek Philippe also made the worlds most expensive timepiece â€“ The Henry Graves Super complication. Made in 1933 for the prominent banker Henry Graves, Jr. The ultra-complicated pocket watch has 24 functions and was the result of Gravesâ€™ friendly horological competition with James Ward Packard. After Gravesâ€™ death, the watch was auctioned at Sothebyâ€™s in December 1999 for US$11 million to Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani of the Qatari royal family, at that time the most expensive timepiece ever sold. Most recently, the watch sold at Sothebyâ€™s Geneva Auction on November 11, 2014 for a record breaking US$24 million.
A brief history on the sigma dials:
The history behind sigma dials is a very interesting one which has now made watches with these dials highly sought after. The sigma dial is discreetly marked with the Greek letter sigma (Ă“) on each end of the T SWISS T or SWISS at the bottom of the dial. From 1970, watch companies who were members of the lâ€™Association pour la Promotion Industrielle de lâ€™Or (APRIOR), such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, IWC, Omega and Vacheron & Constantin to name a few, produced dials with the sigma letter to notify that the hands and index markers are made in gold. This was used at a time when the Japanese â€śquartz revolutionâ€ť started coming in, and sigma dials were produced for one main reason â€“ to notify when gold parts were used on a watch, including the dial to subsequently add to both the financial and intrinsic value of a watch. An important and quite interesting point to note, is that the sigma dials can be found on watches that are made all in stainless steel ie case, band and bezel, but with a sigma dial, not the index markers and hands.