PATEK PHILIPPE PINK GOLD, ENAMEL AND RUBY OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH, REF. 600/1R
Featuring a miniature enamel of King Saud Bin Abdulaziz al Saud, made and sold in 1956
Watches & Accessories
In 1953, the King and founder of modern Saudi Arabia passed away. At the urging of the court, a gift was requested to celebrate the King’s life and immortalize his image for close family members and friends on the ultimate watch, a Patek Philippe. A watchmaker named Abdul Rahman Serour of Red Sea Trading, Patek Philippe’s Saudi agent at the time, ordered a series of these rose gold pocket watches with special enamel dials, indexes set with baguette rubies, and the upper part of the dial decorated with a miniature portrait of the King as a young man. It is interesting to note these watches purposefully do not include a Calatrava cross anywhere on the inside or outside of the watch, and the dial only features the portrait of the King and no Patek Philippe signature or logo. The outside case back of the watch features ‘Patek Philippe Geneve’ which was a compromise in branding these royal gifts for no dial featuring royalty would share its space with the name of the maker. The King had 45 sons and it is safe to assume that these Patek Philippe pocket watches are still treasured within the family. You never actually own a Patek Philippe — but it is a whole different story when your face is on the dial.
The cases for the ref. 600/1R were generally made by Wenger, not Vichet as we see with the regular production ref. 600s. The 17”’ 170 movement was finished to the highest standard as expected. It is the dial, however, that separates these ref. 600s from all others. The technical and artistic mastery of these dials made by Stern Frères for Patek Philippe is second to none. First the enamel is not the typical white enamel, it is the darker amber (or ivory) enamel favored by the likes of Henry Graves, Jr. and seen on the Graves Supercomplication. The setting of the high quality, round cut and baguette cut rubies is unsurpassed. A closer look at the dial reveals that each of the settings is riveted through the dial to affix each stone permanently. Lastly, the miniature enamel is masterful and under high magnification one can see the individual differences between known examples. In its entirety, each pocket watch combines the art of the watchmaker, enamelist, gem setter with the additional layer of historical importance. It is a watch fit for a King and deserves to be at the throne of the most important Patek Philippe collections today.
Pocket watch specifications
Reference Number: 600/1R
Production Year: 1956
Original Date of Sale: December 31, 1956
Size: 44.5 mm
Material: 18K pink gold
Dial Color: Enamel dial with rubies
Watch Movement: Caliber 17"' 170
Accompanied By: Extract from the Archives