A very rare and impressive gold Patek Philippe wristwatch with pearl hour markers.
Bahrain has been synonymous with the trading of pearls for centuries. So when the island’s Emir commissioned a trio of bespoke watches from Patek Philippe in 1958, it was inevitable that they should be adorned with these shimmering jewels of the sea
Pearls have been part of Bahraini culture since the age of myth. The ancient Epic of Gilgamesh tells how the hero-king journeys to the land of Dilmun — the island of Bahrain — in search of a ‘magic plant’ or ‘hidden secret’. He ventures out to sea and ‘ties his feet with heavy stones’. The weight of the stones pulls him down to depths where the seawater is sweet. Gilgamesh seizes the magic plant where it grows, cuts the stones from his feet, and lets ‘the sea cast him upon its shore’.
So in 1958, when Emir Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa I privately commissioned a watch from Patek Philippe, it was always going to feature the incomparable pearls of Bahrain.
The watch commissioned by the Emir is believed to be a bespoke variant of the Calatrava reference 2573, launched in 1956. It is offered in Watches Online: The Dubai Edit, until 26 October, 2022.
The pearls are here used as hour markers — and they make a striking adornment to the dial. Eight Bahraini seed pearls are grouped between the four cardinal points. Arranged in this way, they look like otherworldly eyes. (‘Fish eyes’, as it happens, was the Sumerian term for pearls.) They gaze serenely back at the wearer: it is as if the watch were watching you.
Apparently three of these "Pearls of Bahrain" watches have surfaced with the rose gold one shown below, which sold for an impressive amount.
Article source: https://www.christies.com/features/the-pearl-of-bahrain-a-unique-symbol-of-an-ancient-history-and-culture-12479-1.aspx?sc_lang=en
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