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Brazil was experiencing a major economic upturn at the time and over the decades the country accounted for up to a third of the watches manufactured by Patek Philippe.

Wearing a ‘Patek’ was a status symbol among Brazil’s elite and to make the most of the market possibilities, the company developed a gold watch especially for Gondolo & Labouriau.

It was available in nine different sizes and was generally a simple timekeeper without additional complications, although some models were equipped with a chronograph.

One, then as now, sought-after version of the ‘Gondolo’, as it was known, was fitted with a 24-hour dial. An example from 1905, which was sold by Gondolo & Labouriau the following year, caught the eye of several collectors at Antiquorum (25% buyer’s premium) in Geneva on May 9 and was knocked down for SFr24,000 (£18,900), three times the guide.