Rare UK Luxury Swiss Replica Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Single-Button Chronograph Watches Formerly Belonging To Famed Racer Henry Segrave And Amelia Earhart To Be Auctioned In Monaco

Monaco Legend Group will offer collectors a dream watch this spring, one made even better by a fascinating story. In fact, you could say the watch traced some of the most important moments in American motorsports and aviation history from the late 1920s to the 1930s. The auction house, led by watch department chairman Davide Parmegiani, calls this one of the most important vintage cheap UK Patek Philippe replica watches to auction in recent memory, and I’m inclined to agree.

The split-second single button chronograph offered now at auction was specially ordered from Patek by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the American business magnate who founded the London-based Selfridges department store, while on a skiing trip in St. Moritz in the winter of 1928/1929. Selfridge had been drawn into the magnetic hero status of Sir Henry O’Neal de Hane Segrave, a massive celebrity in the era for his achievements in motorsports, especially speed records, and apparently ordered the watch with Segrave in mind. The high quality fake watches was engraved on the back, commemorating their friendship.

The watch Selfridge ordered wasn’t an average chronograph. From 1923 to 1939, Patek Philippe produced 11 known split-seconds single-button chronographs, two of which were made by Patek for (and signed by) Cartier. Unlike the serially produced ref. 1436 with two buttons, these perfect replica watches seem to have been made entirely to order. There are 140 known examples of the ref. 1436 split-seconds chronograph (the model shares a dial and case design with the ref. 130 simple chronograph) made from 1938 to 1971, but these bespoke pieces are a whole different ballgame – the two shouldn’t be confused. The custom split-seconds single-button watches have a Victorin Piguet ébauche and could be split into two camps: round and cushion-shaped copy watches for sale. Of these, only five are cushion cases (one curious example is actually a left-hand model), and two are in the Patek Philippe museum. The single-button design makes it incredibly rare – only Patek did this design on a split-seconds chronograph in the late ’20s. This might be the ultimate design of the era.

Segrave had a long history in automotive racing, winning the first endurance car race in Britain in 1921 before eventually pivoting to chasing speed records on land and sea. On March 16, 1926, Segrave set the land speed record at 152.33 mph, then became the first person to break 200 mph just over a year later at Daytona Beach. A few months after being knighted, Segrave attempted to set a water speed record at 98.76 mph, but on his third pass, the boat crashed in horrifying fashion and was pulled from the water. Segrave lived long enough to hear he had broken the record, but died from acute lung hemorrhages. According to an account from Selfridge in Amelia Earhart’s biography (written by her husband George Putnam in 1939), the Swiss made Patek Philippe replica watches was on Segrave’s wrist when he died and was returned to Selfridge, who wore it himself for a while.

Earhart’s place in this story is another example of Selfridge using his status to surround himself with the most interesting people he could find. Her achievements need no introduction, but for the few who don’t know them, she was (among a great many other things) the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. From the biography Soaring Wings:

“She went to Selfridge’s, and while things for her needs were being assembled to show her, they invited her to sign her name with a diamond-pointed pencil on a plate-glass window that Harry Selfridge and his son Gordon have made a unique autograph album. Then, the foundation of her friendship with Gorgon Selfridge was established – a friendship which led later to his giving her a watch and having a most interesting story.”

At some point, while visiting Earhart in America, Selfridge gifted her the Segrave super clone watches online, and in exchange, she gave Selfridge the Longines she was wearing on her two record-breaking Transatlantic flights. That Longines is now at the Smithsonian, having also flown to the International Space Station.

“I had a growing feeling that a watch made under such circumstances, and for a person for whom I felt such an intense personal affection as I came also to feel for her, ought to be inherited by her who had obtained, just as naturally and with even more personal charm, my enormous admiration,” said Selfridge, on offering the 1:1 replica watches to Earhart. She made the trade but asked to be allowed to trade back for the Longines whenever she wished, as it was obviously sentimental for her.

Patek has bought several of these AAA UK fake watches for its museum – such as case number 124,824, the brand’s first known split-seconds wristwatch sold at Sotheby’s in 2014 for $2,965,000 – narrowing the chances for collectors to own these important watches. They’ve also used these watches to inspire modern releases, such as the aforementioned “first” split chronograph, which resembles the ref. 5959, or in the case of cushion designs, the ref. 5950.

The watch was more publicly rediscovered when the American owners contacted Monaco Legend Group to discuss selling it. The current owner’s grandfather acquired the watch in the 1960s. One wrinkle to the story – which has been tracked extensively by Dan Hodge on his blog 28DaysEarlier – is the fact that Putnam claimed in his 1939 book (and Selfridge also believed) that Earhart was wearing the Selfridge/Segrave watch when she went missing in 1937. Obviously, if that were the case, we wouldn’t have the top replica watches seen here since her plane and body have never been recovered. But images discovered in Purdue’s archives by Conor O’Reilly, who did the historical component of the Tortella “Deep Study,” show Earhart wearing a round-cased watch of a different design (possibly a three-counter chronograph with two-tone dial) in some of the last images taken of her on a stop in Venezuela during her ill-fated flight.

The watch has undergone two restorations. The first happened shortly after Segrave was pulled from the water, and Selfridge sent the best quality fake watches back to Patek for service and restoration – it wasn’t a waterproof watch, after all. The second restoration was completed in 2015 by Patek, bringing the watch (and the dial) into the condition you see today. This watch is the only example of its kind with enameled Breguet numerals and tachymeter (as confirmed by Patek Philippe themselves).

The replica watches wholesale will be auctioned off during the Monaco Legend Group spring auctions on April 20-21. It comes with a Tortella & Sons “Deep Study” documentation book. The estimate is set at €500,000-1,000,000, which is a generous estimate to entice bidders. Past examples of round-cased single-button splits have sold for upwards of CHF 3,000,000. Realistically, €1.5 million or more would be a better starting price and would be a steal for a piece of history like this.

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