The Patek Philippe watch with Ref. 1463 is a piece of history that will go under the hammer on December 17th at Christie’s ‘Important Watches” auction in New York. The watch belonged to Dr. Kemp Clark, the attending neurosurgeon at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Kemp Clark was called in following the attack on President John F Kennedy’s motorcade on November 22, 1963. All attempts to save the President life was in vain and Dr. Clark called president’s death at 1300, which was the official time of death. It was this same Patek Philippe 1463 watch Dr. Clark was wearing when he called president’s death, according to the doctor’s family.
The 18 karat gold chronograph watch was given to him as a present by his parents. The dial originally featured a tachometer scale, as often seen on the Ref. 1463. On Dr. Clark’s parents request a pulsometer scale fitted to the watch instead of a tachometer, as a pulsometer would be more useful for their son who was in medical school the time. Christie’s note that Dr. Clark wore the watch throughout his medical career.
The watch was purchased by Dr. Clark’s mother Mrs. Dilworth Hager, while she was abroad. The documents accompanying the Lot 228 include the Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin showing it was purchased for Swiss Francs 1,290 on August 15, 1949.
The dial features a silvered matt dial, applied gold Roman and baton numerals, outer railway minute divisions and pulsometer scale, two subsidiary dials for 30 minute register and constant seconds, circular water-resistant-type case and two round chronograph buttons in the band. The screw back is etched Kemp Clark, and the case, dial and movement are signed Patek Philippe.
Early estimates for the watch are between $100,000 and $150,000.
Source: Hautetime and Christie’s