|Year of production (circa)||
18K White gold
Original gold buckle
Patek Philippe Ref. 4223
1968 was the year that Johnny Cash made his LP ‘At Folsom Prison, which brought him a lot of criticism. But he went forward, and that is also the heart of Patek Philippe’s design, going off the beaten track. So there was the origin of the beautiful Ellipse in 1968.
It was not an instant success, but it was a dress watch in an elegant subtle way. In general, people have to get used to change, so when the Ellipse was introduced not everybody was impressed, but that did not take long. The name Ellipse refers to philosophy ‘the golden ratio’, but some people say that a view from the sky on a US highway junction was the inspiration. It will remain a mystery.
The lady in 18k white gold we have here is from about the year 1977, on the original strap and with the original 18k white golden buckle. Classy is the word that comes to our mind, the blue dial with white gold hands and markers, aka sigma dial. If the dial catches the light it is as if the sun is shining blue, radiation on the wrist.
Women are coming up in the collector’s world of vintage watches, for a long time it was a men’s world. We are also noticing that in our shop, we have some female die-hard collectors. What strikes us is the diversity of their collections. Real bold watches like a diver till the beautiful elegancy of a small dress watch.
The Patek Phillipe Ellipse ref 4223 is a watch what not should be missing from a collection.
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All the way back in 1839, Franciszek Czapek and Antoni Patek founded Patek, Czapek & Cie. in Geneva. The two Polish watchmakers manufactured pocket watches until an argument drove them apart in 1845. Patek teamed up with French watchmaker Adrien Philippe and in 1851, Patek, Philippe & Cie. was officially registered and the story of arguably the finest of watch manufacturers was truly underway.
The company would amass an impressive array of firsts and records. Among which the first perpetual calendar pocket watch, first split-second chronograph wristwatch, first perpetual calendar wristwatch and for twenty-seven years they held the record for most complicated watch movement: 33 complications.
Yes, we have entered the realm of haute horology.
The house registered its Calatrava cross logo in 1887. The Calatrava would later become one of the brand’s celebrated collections and even a design template for other brands.
Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin form what is lovingly referred to as the Holy trinity of watchmaking. Three houses that specialized in haute horology, pushing the boundaries of mechanical watchmaking, decoration and finishing techniques.
Much like Rolex and Omega rule the everyday-watch category, the Holy trinity rules haute horology. A sentiment reflected in Patek’s motto since 1996: You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.
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