PATEK PHILIPPE SOLAR DOME CLOCK, REF. 701
Early photo-electric and mechanical Dome Clock, made and sold in 1957
Watches, Watches & Accessories
Patek Philippe first announced the development of its dome clock in the mid-1950s, and news quickly spread of a novel form of timekeeping that harnessed the power of the sun. The original retail price for this clock in the 1950s was $1250 (compared to a ref. 1518 which was $1500). These clocks were the most cutting-edge technology one could buy for the home, the most luxurious item imaginable. A closer look at this clock reveals the incredible attention to detail that Patek Philippe committed to obtaining a level of finish appropriate to this mid-century icon of design and technological achievement.
This clock features the first generation solar technology used by Patek Philippe’s solar and atomic labs. A 17 lignes pocket watch movement is at the heart of the timekeeping, and it is kept fully wound by a tandem powering system of solar power and a backup system, using an accumulator (battery). The result is a clock that runs accurately without human intervention for over a year.
The design of the case is functional in that the upper dome is meant to be turned manually to face the solar panel into the direction of light. The case is decorated by hand-engraved geometric forms. The dial is further decorated with the same pattern, a rare variation for these early clocks. At the dawn of the space race, this clock was a glimpse into the future of technology, and a design aesthetic that cannot be separated from the contest to conquer the stars.
Reference Number: 701
Production Year: Circa 1957
Original Date of Sale: Circa 1957
Material: Gilt brass
Dial Color: Silvered plate with engraved lozenges, gilt brass chapter ring, hand engraved
Watch Movement: Electro-mechanical Caliber 17-250
Accompanied By: Patek Philippe presentation box
Price: $ 28,000.00